Forensic anthropologists and San Bernardino County Sheriff Department officials investigate shallow graves where human remains were found in a remote area near Quarry and Stoddard Wells roads in Victorville, Calif, on Wednesday, Nov 13, 2013.

Sarah Alvarado, AP Photo/The Victor Valley Daily Press

Mojave Desert mystery: Bones of 4 people found in shallow graves

  • Associated Press
  • November 14, 2013 - 4:33 AM

VICTORVILLE, Calif. — The bones of four people were found in two shallow graves in Southern California's Mojave Desert, but it will take more investigation to determine who they are and how they died, authorities said Wednesday.

Sheriff's homicide detectives and coroner's officials wrapped up a three-day excavation in barren scrubland on the outskirts of Victorville, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

"There were two graves where remains were located as well as additional skeletal remains ... near the graves," the statement said.

A third site that appeared to show some disturbed ground also was dug up but investigators determined it was unrelated to the gravesites.

Authorities went to the site near the Interstate 15 freeway on Monday after an off-road motorcyclist reported finding bones that coroner's investigators later confirmed were human.

"It appears the remains have been there for an extended period of time. Age and gender are unknown pending examination by a forensic anthropologist," the sheriff's department statement said.

"It is difficult at this point to state how long it will take to determine the causes of death," said sheriff's spokeswoman Jodi Miller.

Victorville is in the high desert about 60 miles northeast of Los Angeles. No homes or businesses are near the gravesite.

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