MILLINGTON — Bones from a human skull that were found here over the weekend are now in possession of the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore, according to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office.
The ME’s office is tasked with determining the age at death and gender of the deceased, what Lt. Stuart Lodge described as a “painstaking process” that is expected to take several weeks.
Until those questions have been answered, it “wouldn’t be fruitful” to speculate on any of the number of possibilities, Lodge told the Kent County News on Monday, Aug. 9.
“It’s going to be a waiting game until we get information from the medical examiner,” he said in a phone interview.
Lodge, who is commander of the Criminal Investigation Division, said a Cecil County woman came to the sheriff’s office Saturday night with some bones she had found while digging that day for old bottles on private property near Cypress Creek in Millington.
Photographs and measurements of the bones were sent that night to a forensic anthropologist in the medical examiner’s office, who confirmed that this was part of a human skull, according to Lodge.
On Sunday, after securing a search warrant for the property signed by Kent County Circuit Court Judge Harris Murphy, crime scene technicians from the Maryland State Police excavated the area. Lodge and the entire sheriff’s office command staff assisted.
There were as many as 12 members of law enforcement on-site working from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Lodge said.
He described the locale as a wooded area overgrown with bushes near Cypress Creek, an area that might flood in a very big weather event like Hurricane Floyd (in 1999) but not on a frequent basis.
Most of the skull was collected, but no other skeletal remains were located, according to Lodge.
The excavation — underneath and around the entire area where the first skull fragments were found — was directed by the MSP in consultation with a forensic anthropologist from the medical examiner’s office.
Lodge said there was no evidence that the skull had been buried deliberately.
Also, he said, nothing was discovered that could help with identification such as jewelry or clothing.
Mid-Atlantic Removal Service, which offers mortuary support services, transported the bones to the medical examiner’s office, according to Lodge.
Sheriff John Price said there are two open missing person cases in Kent County: William Arthur Simpler III of Millington, reported missing June 30, 1992 and Miona Joanne Dickey of Worton, reported missing in 2018.
Simpler was 34 at the time he was reported missing.
Dickey would be 19 now, according to the sheriff’s office.
Lodge said in an email: “We are almost 100% sure that she is fine and has been located but her family moved out of the area and we are unable to contact them, so she remains officially ‘missing’ until someone contacts her.”