Father, son stumble across part of human skull while hiking in St. Paul

- A father and son from Oakdale were hiking through Battle Creek Regional Park in St. Paul when the two stumbled onto a part of a human skull on Friday morning.

"I've found skeletal remains of animals like possums but never human remains and human remains, make it kind of fascinating doesn't it," park visitor Mickey Sullivan said.

The two came across the piece of bone lying along the bluffs near the parking lot. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner determined the 6-inch by 8-inch piece was the top of a human skull, and they are sending it to an anthropologist to see how long it may have been there and who it might belong to.

"It’s pretty unusual. A lot of people find bones and call us, but they turn out to be animal bones. It’s very rare to find human bones when people are out in the park," Sgt. Mike Ernster, St. Paul Police spokesperson, said.

The park itself is named after one of the bloodiest battles between Native American tribes in the mid-1800’s.

Police say it’s also not far from Mounds Park where there are several Native American burial mounds. Investigators are looking at whether the bone is connected to the 2,000-year old ritual or something else.

"It would be interesting to see where this came from, from an archeological perspective as well as scientific level. I would find it fascinating to find where this would lead to," Sullivan said.

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