Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

May 2, 2012

Police: Skull most likely from medical display

Exam reveals bones more than 50 years old

Kokomo — The human skull found by a fisherman in the Wildcat Creek Monday sparked a speculative firestorm about its origins, but police are saying the skull is most likely only the remnant of a medical exhibit or display.

Stephen Nawrocki, a forensic anthropologist at the University of Indianapolis, confirmed the skull was human. He said tests showed it to be more than 50 years old.

An examination revealed the bones had been painted or white-washed and contained drilled holes — signs which Nawrocki said indicate the skull had been adapted for a display or medical exhibit.

He said the bones do not indicate any criminal activity.

Police were called to the McCann Street bridge around 1:15 p.m. Monday to remove the skull after the fisherman said he saw what looked like bones in the water.

The discovery provoked a slew of theories about where the skull came from.

Those commenting on the Kokomo Tribune’s Facebook page speculated the bones originated in a graveyard or American Indian burial site and washed into the Wildcat Creek.

The family of Kelly Armstrong, who disappeared in September, was also on scene when police removed the skull.

Teresa Edwards and David Armstrong, Kelly’s parents, believed the bones may have been their daughter’s remains.

Police say Travis Funke, Kelly’s boyfriend, admitted to killing her on July 8, wrapping her body in a tarp and placing it in a trash tote.

Police said the bones were left with Nawrocki for further study.

• Carson Gerber, Tribune reporter, may be reached by calling 765-854-6739 or via email at carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com.

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