Decades Old Human Remains discovered on Mount Williamson

On October 7, 2019, two hikers climbing  Mount Williamson, discovered human remains near the far side of the “Williamson Bowl”. The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office was contacted. Due to the remote location and difficult terrain , aerial support was required to transport a Sheriff’s Office Investigator. Several attempts were made, but high winds in the Eastern Sierra hampered recovery operations.
On October 16, CHP Inland Division Air Operations was able to insert a Sheriff’s Investigator, and the remains were successfully transported to the Lone Pine Airport. Custody was transferred to the Inyo County Coroner. The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office does not have any missing persons reports connected to this location, and based on the condition of the remains, it is believed that the body may have been in this area for quite some time – perhaps decades. According to Sgt. Nate Derr of the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department, investigators are trying to identify the remains found beneath Mount Williamson. The body was discovered near a lake in the remote rock-filled bowl between the peaks of Mount Tyndall and Williamson. Mt Williamson is south-southwest of Independence. The standard ascent route is the West Side Route, accessed from Shepherd’s Pass which is accessed through Onion Valley.

The discovery was made by climbers who saw what appeared to be a bone beneath boulders. Closer inspection revealed a skull, and when they overturned some rocks they found the entire skeleton with just leather shoes and a belt. The average person who was hiking to Williamson wouldn’t have gone the route we went because we were a little bit lost, a little bit off course,” the hikers reported. “So it made sense that nobody would have stumbled across the body.” The skeleton was laid out on its back with its arms crossed over the chest. Based on the skeleton’s placement, the remains may have been placed there intentionally.

This is a huge mystery to us,” said Inyo County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Carma Roper, since they’ve gone back through decades of missing persons reports from the Inyo National Forest with no matches.

The case will be handled as an open investigation; no foul play is suspected. Identification is pending DNA confirmation, which they believe could be decades old because of their condition. If anyone has information connected to a missing individual in the Mt. Williamson area you are encouraged to call the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office at 760-878-0383/option 4.


3 Responses to Decades Old Human Remains discovered on Mount Williamson

  1. Rick O'Brien October 23, 2019 at 8:06 pm #

    You guys gotta get with it …I read the story that it’s more than probable that the body is that of a Manzanar internee that went fishing with a group near the end of the war in 1945 , and froze to death . They found his body a few weeks later and did their best to bury him where he died , hence the folded arms .

  2. Angelle October 22, 2019 at 10:36 am #

    Maybe they finally found Hoffa

  3. Brad October 18, 2019 at 8:28 am #

    Matthew Greene? Check the boots.


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