TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — It was the last thing Brandon Keating ever expected to find on a walk. Just days ago, a human skull washed up on the sand bar out of the Kansas River.
“We came across it actually when we turned it over, we realized it was a human skeleton,” Keating said.
It was just a skull, not the other remains. Keating jumped into action and called the police.
“So we decided to call the police and hand it over to them because we didn’t know exactly what to do with it.”
The skull will now be handed over to forensic anthropologists at Washburn University who will work to identify the remains.
“The first step is first documenting the remains, taking photos, completing an inventory, figuring out a minimum number of individuals. With one of these types of cases is figuring out the forensic significance. So is it a modern case, or are we talking pre-historic remains or maybe historic remains from the 18 or 1900s,” said Alexandra Klales, a forensic anthropologist at Washburn University.
For Klales, this is routine. She said there are actually three skulls she knows of right now that have washed up from rivers. Sometimes, bones may have been there for centuries.
“Especially in Kansas because of our rich history with Native American groups, as well as having historic settlers along the Oregon Trail,” she said.
As for Brandon, he has one wish.
“I really do hope that the family gets closure,” Keating said.
A single skull takes the anthropology team around 30 hours to fully analyze. It is one of many cases, so the full report can take up to a year.