Former police officer finds skull and bones near home - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Former police officer finds skull and bones near home

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - A retired officer found a human skull near his home and police are treating it as a homicide.

"When I saw it ... I thought it might be a prank," said Charles Ballard. "I did a double take. I saw that (up close) and said, `This is real.' "

Ballard said he smelled decay in the woods near his home two or three weeks ago but found nothing when he investigated.

He thinks an animal dragged the skull to the top of a small hill near his front door, where he saw it on Friday.

"We confirmed that it was a human skull and two others, it could be arm or leg bones," Chattanooga police Lt. Tim Carroll said. "Crime scene investigators located the body a short time later."

Detectives hope to determine whether the body is of someone on the department's missing persons list. "Anytime you find a body in the woods, it's suspicious," he said.

"We're going to investigate it as a homicide until we see something otherwise." Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, www.timesfreepress.com

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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