Skeleton found near Athens

 The partial skeleton of a human found this week in Banks County near Athens was transported to the State Crime Lab Thursday to see what forensic scientists can determine as to its identity, authorities said.

“We don’t have any tentative identification right now and I don’t know what we’ll be able to get in terms of the manner of death,” Georgia Bureau of Investigation Agent Mike Ayers said.

The partial skeleton was found scattered in a wooded area behind a hotel at the Banks Crossing shopping area off U.S. Highway 441.

“There’s not a lot to go on,” Ayers said. “It does appear (the bones) have been there for a long time and they are scattered over a large area. It doesn’t give us a lot of viable leads to run down at this point in time.”

The skeleton was found about 8:30 p.m. Monday by two men who were at a creek in the forest, according to Ayers. They found a bone and notified the sheriff’s office in Banks County, which called in the GBI. Ayers declined to say which bone the men found that made them suspicious it was human.

“We took one of the bones to an anthropologist at the University of Georgia and they were able to positively identify it as a human,” he said. “We’ll try to extract DNA from the bone and run it through the missing persons data base to see if we can get anything.”

Ayers said learning anything about the bones from the crime lab will “take a long time.”

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