Piece of human skull found on Niagara Escarpment

Hamilton police say the bone a hiker found on the Niagara Escarpment Tuesday night comes from a human skull.

Hamilton police say the bone a hiker found on the Niagara Escarpment Tuesday night comes from a human skull.

The Centre for Forensic Sciences (CFS) has confirmed the bone came from a human. The CFS will be doing more tests to identify the sex and age of the person, as well as how long the bone had been in that area, homicide Det. Peter Thom told CBC Hamilton.

"At the moment, the forensic anthropologist is only able to tell that it's a human skull," Thom said. "Hopefully she can extract a DNA sample."

Thom says he isn't sure exactly how long additional testing will take.

A hiker found the remains on Tuesday around McNeilly Road and 8th Road East, near where police searched for the remains of a missing developmentally disabled woman last year.

Police previously combed a field nearby looking for the remains of Shirley Treadwell, a Stoney Creek woman with a mental disability. Treadwell is believed to have died in 2009. Police were alerted to her death last June.

Police found a handful of bones in their search last November. Further investigation revealed they came from an animal.

Treadwell’s niece and caregiver, Melinda Evans, was charged last September with fraud and committing an indignity to a human body.

Evans, 46, pleaded guilty to disposing of her aunt’s body and to fraud for cashing close to $50,000 worth of Treadwell’s government disability cheques.

"There is a geographical proximity," Thom said. "But we have to keep all possibilities open."

He says Hamilton police have not yet been in contact with Treadwell's family about the find. "There are a number of other missing persons in Hamilton," he said. "Until we know what we're dealing with, we don't want to be giving false hope."

Hamilton Police are conducting a grid search in the McNeilly Road area Thursday. The road will be closed for most of the day for the search.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.