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Bones under crawl space give Detroit Lakes homeowner a scare

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DETROIT LAKES -- A homeowner doing renovation work at 601 Davis Avenue got a scare Sunday evening when he pulled up flooring and discovered bones and a remnant of fabric -- that looked like it could have once been clothing -- in a crawl space under the house.

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He called police, who asked a local medical officer to determine if the pieces of bone were human, according to Detroit Lakes Police Chief Kel Keena.

The medical officer wasn't sure if the bones were human, so the on-duty sergeant talked to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which agreed to send a team to the scene to assist with the investigation.

The BCA team came from Bemidji with a mobile laboratory truck, which attracted a lot of curiosity around town -- and several calls to the newspaper.

In the end, the bones turned out to have come from an animal, not a human, said investigator Chad Jutz. He didn't know what kind of animal it was, but said it was the fabric that was found with the bones that alarmed officers, since it looked like clothing.

The State Archeologist's Office was informed early on that bones had been discovered, as is standard procedure with the discovery of old bones that may have been human.

"It's just one of those deals where you have to proceed in a certain fashion when doing a death investigation," Keena said, "because you only get one crack at it."

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