Hiker finds human bone in drained Lake Aldwell


On May 15, a local hiker walking in the drained Lake Aldwell discovered a leg bone in the top layer of silt. The hiker suspected that the bone could be human and turned it over to the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, which advised Olympic National Park of the find. 

Park archeologist Dave Conca, working with Elwha tribal archeologist Bill White, identified the bone as human and determined that the bone was not of ancient Indian remains, based on the location where it was found. 

The bone was turned over to the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office, which has jurisdiction over criminal investigations at Lake Aldwell.

The Clallam County Criminal Investigations Bureau is leading the multi-agency investigation that includes Olympic National Park and the Elwha tribe. 

The area where the human bone was found was searched. A cadaver dog owned by Clallam County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue member Norma Snelling alerted in four separate areas within 20 feet of where the human bone  was located.

On June 18, Clallam County Sheriff Office deputies set up a command center at Lake Aldwell about one mile south of the Elwha River bridge on U.S. Highway 101 and started excavating the area where the bone was found, searching for more human remains. 

The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office will be sending the unidentified human remains to the University of North Texas to have a DNA profile established and compared with the DNA profile of Karen Tucker, who was reported missing to the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office in 1991. 

The profile also will be entered into the National Missing Persons DNA Database to be compared with other reported missing persons throughout the country.

“The receding waters of Lake Aldwell and Lake Mills have revealed items left behind by early residents of the Elwha Valley," park officials said in a press release. 

"Visitors to the former reservoirs are reminded that these are protected by law and that collecting is illegal in both reservoirs."
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