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Update: Human remains found near Big Pine Lake determined to be American Indian

Human remains were unearthed by an ACS crew working near Big Pine Lake on Thursday.

NEW YORK MILLS -- Human bones and a skull, unearthed near the shores of Big Pine Lake, northwest of New York Mills, Thursday morning, August 27, are believed to be American Indian and "very old," according to the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Department.

The remains were transported to a forensic anthropologist in St. Paul for analysis. The state archeologist office and the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council are further investigating the remains. Final custody of the remains will be transferred to the Indian Affairs Council.

Crews from Arvig Communications Systems uncovered a skull, finger bone and other fragments during installation of telephone and Lake Region Electric lines.

After the Otter Tail County Sherrif's Department was called, the remains were gathered and sent to St. Paul to determine origin.

Construction has been halted in that immediate area, said Jerry Guck, construction supervisor for ACS.

"We had to vacate premises, and move to another area to work. They'll be calling us when we can resume," said Guck. "We just got out of their way and let them do what they needed to do."

The case is under investigation by the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Department. State archeologists are also expected to be examining the remains.