UPDATED: Skeletal remains found at Ord Bend
The search is on to identify the woman whose skeletal remains was found in Ord Bend Park on Friday.
The death of Jane Doe, as she is now called, is being investigated as a homicide.
Glenn County Sheriff Larry Jones said detectives are working with the state Department of Justice in Sacramento to match the remains with a known missing person.
"It is possible something happened at the park — a fight perhaps — and that she was killed there," Jones said Tuesday. "I have a feeling she was killed elsewhere and dumped over the fence, but so far there is no evidence of that."
A specialist in forensic anthropology preliminarily identified the remains as that of a Caucasian female, between 35 and 45 years old.
Sheriff's officials didn't start processing the scene until about 7 a.m. Saturday, Jones said, but the area was guarded through the night by members of the Sheriff's Posse.
With the assistance of the Glenn County Sheriff's Search and Rescue, the dirt was sifted through until all human remains were found.
The cause of her death is still unknown, Jones said. University of California pathologists who received the remains on Monday are working to put a complete skeleton together.
Jones said the woman was dead at least several months, based on forensics, when her skull was found by a Public Works employee and county inmate worker during a clean-up operation of a burn pile.
"When I got the news, I hoped the remains were ancient Native American," Jones said. "That occurs now and then in this area. But when I saw the skull, I knew that was not the case."
Jones said it was clear that the upper jaw showed modern dental work, and jewelry was found still attached to some of the bones.
It was Jones and Glenn County deputies who discovered the jewelry and the additional remains after they arrived at the scene.
Detectives from the Glenn County Major Crimes Unit were called in, and the park was closed.
Because the pile where the remains were found was still burning, the Ord Bend Fire Department was called in to mist the area with water.
Jones said he is hopeful they will identify the woman, although she could be a transient passing through the area from out of state, meaning detectives will have to reach further out than California for known missing persons.
There are no known missing persons in the immediate area who match the woman's description, officials said Tuesday.
Detective Greg Felton, who is working with the state, said a photograph of the woman's jewelry, which is very distinctive, would be released to the public as a last resort if no match to a known missing person is found.
"I would like to be able to notify her family before they see it in the media," Felton said.
Jones said a second search of the area will be made if pathologists working on the remains discover the skeleton is incomplete.