Mystery of Manotick human bones in hands of forensics team
'Once you realize it's human, it's a little bit shocking'
The story behind the discovery of human bones at a work site in the south Ottawa community of Manotick may take weeks to unravel, as forensic anthropologists work to determine their age.
Tim Carver and his colleagues were building a deck at a home on Cabrelle Place in Maple Creek Estates on Tuesday afternoon when his contracting partner Jason Pink stepped on something hard.
"We just actually were going for break to get a coffee and he just stepped in a rut [where] we were digging for the fence and he stepped on the jaw that came out of the dirt," said Carver.
"We all looked at it and we were pretty sure it was human, right away," he said.
They called police, who agreed the bones were human and brought in a forensic anthropologist from Toronto to help with the investigation.
In addition to the jawbone, some vertebrae were also found in the shallow soil.
"It didn't kick in right away… but once you realize it's human, it's a little bit shocking," said Carver.
Land had been vacant farmland
The major crimes unit is keeping an eye on the file, but for now the investigation is in the hands of the anthropologists, who will be carbon dating the bones and seeing if there is any genetic material in the vertebrae that might help identify the person.
Chris Napior, a Manotick resident and businessman, found out about the bones on social media, then came to visit the site.
He told CBC News the land had been vacant farmland for years, and that a lot of backfill has been trucked in over time.
"Many different sources — a lot of fill came in to these properties. It was vacant farmland for years, so who knows how long it's been sitting there. ... It didn't seem that [the bones were] too deep," Napior said.