Mystery surrounds human remains found on hiking trail

Hikers came across bones on hiking trail off SW Macadam Avenue

Hikers discovered bones that appear to be human on a hiking trail in the River View Natural Area in SW Portland, April 16, 2017. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A family hiking in Southwest Portland on Sunday afternoon discovered bones that investigators confirmed are human, police said.

The family was hiking on an unmaintained trail off of SW Macadam Avenue in the River View Natural Area when they made the discovery around 2:45 p.m.

Hikers discovered bones that appear to be human on a hiking trail in the River View Natural Area in SW Portland, April 16, 2017. (KOIN)

Portland Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson said the family was near the Sellwood Bridge in an area between Macadam and Lewis and Clark College. Simpson said it’s not a well-known trail, and that it’s mostly used by locals.

Homicide detectives, the medical examiner and other criminalists were sent to the scene after investigators said the bones “appeared to be human.” On Monday, KOIN 6 News received confirmation that the bones were indeed human.

There are still many unanswered questions, like how the remains ended up there. The bones were sent to a crime lab for examination, where it will be determined whether they belonged to a man or woman, and how the person died.

“Is this a natural death where someone was hiking or sleeping somewhere in the woods? Or all the way up to a homicide?” Simpson asked. “Right now it’s wide open.”

Investigators said there was dirt, moss and other growth around the bones, which led them to believe the remains may have been there for a long time.

“It was described to me as a year to many years,” Simpson said.

KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.