It will take until the end of the summer to determine the identity of the skeleton found in woods near Howard County General Hospital in Columbia earlier this month, Howard County police estimate.
A landscaper noticed a jacket in a wooded area near the 12200 block of Green Meadow Drive and found the remains on June 1.
“We won’t be able to confirm the [identification] of the skeletal remains until the scientific test results come back … it will be an estimated eight weeks until an ID can be confirmed,” Sherry Llewellyn, a Howard County police spokeswoman, said.
The case is not linked to any reported missing person in Howard County or surrounding areas, and there is no indication of foul play or criminal activity, police said.
There was no skin or hair attached to the remains, which were taken to the state medical examiner’s office, according to Llewellyn. The jacket “appeared to have damage due to the outdoor elements.”
Police could not confirm if teeth were still intact on the skull. Dental records are sometimes used by investigators to identify a body.
Llewellyn has said that human remains “in various states of decomposition through the years” have been found in the county and such remains are often not linked to foul play or criminal activity.
The medical examiner’s office does not discuss cases that are under investigation, according to a spokesman. The office does examinations and the police are responsible for identification.