Skull found near Slidell heads to FACES lab for evaluation

Dave Cohen, WWL First News early edition
November 20, 2017 - 7:19 am

A human skull found on the Northshore is headed to LSU as the investigation unfolds.

"The skull found in woods near Slidell more than a week ago will be sent to the LSU Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services (FACES) lab in Baton Rouge today," the coroner's office said in a news release.
St. Tammany Parish Coroner Dr. Charles Preston said that the skull has no obvious signs of trauma, but has been outdoors for a "considerable amount of time." 
"Determining exactly how long - or determining it with some level of precision - will be within the purview of anthropologists," Preston said.  "Staff at the FACES Lab will also extract a tooth from the skull and send it back to our DNA lab; leaving the tooth in place until FACES researchers conduct their preliminary examination will ensure more accurate study by anthropologists and eliminate the risk of damage."
The coroner said the skull has been exposed to the elements long enough to show uneven discoloration, apparently based on exposure to sunlight, and for foliage to have grown into the cavity.  
"There are some open missing persons cases in St. Tammany Parish, but unless DNA matching is successful or until additional forensics are completed, we can't say with any level of certainty if the skull may belong to any of them," Preston said.  "Once FACES staff complete their work and give us a report, we'll be closer to solving this mystery."

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