Motorists discovered human remains after their car broke down on a Texas highway, police said.
They were traveling several days before Christmas in 2022 when their car lost a tire outside of San Antonio, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said in a Sept. 7 news conference.
After exiting the vehicle, the travelers set off on foot in a wooded area, Salazar said. That’s when they “found a human skull just out in the middle of the brush.”
The next day, dozens of law enforcement officials swept the area in search of other remains but found none.
Now — nine months later — police have made some progress on the case, establishing details about the victim and the state of the remains, Salazar said.
“What we know about the skull is that it appears it had been in that spot before it was found for approximately two years,” Salazar said in the news conference. It was “relatively clean” and without signs of trauma.
There is insufficient evidence to label the case a homicide, but the fact that the skull was found alone is concerning, Salazar said.
It “does not appear to have ever been buried and exhumed,” Salazar said. “We believe that where it was placed is where we eventually found it.”
A forensics team was able to identify the victim as a woman, possibly of Hispanic or Asian descent, between 20 and 35 years old.
With the assistance of the University of North Texas and the state’s Department of Public Safety, a composite sketch of what the victim may have looked like was created.
Police are encouraging anyone who might recognize the woman in the sketch to contact the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office.
Their investigation remains ongoing.
Bexar County encompasses San Antonio and is located about 80 miles southwest of Austin.
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