Deputies investigate human bones found near national park

The Desert View Conservation Area gates will be open for recreation during daylight hours.

JOSHUA TREE — Homicide detectives and medical examiners are investigating human bones found in or near Joshua Tree National Park around 11:11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 16.

A hiker reported finding a partial human skeleton in Section 6, said Cindy Bachman, a spokeswoman for the county Sheriff’s Department.

Section 6 is roughly a square mile of land east of Quail Springs Road, outside the western border of the park.

The hiker directed a deputy back into the remote landscape about 150 feet west of the national park, according to the Sheriff’s Department. The deputy found the bones and sent photographs of them to the coroner’s division, where employees confirmed they were human.

The scene was secured for the night and on Friday, Jan. 17, a helicopter crew flew homicide detectives, coroner’s investigators and crime scene investigators into the park, where they retrieved the bones.

Investigators will examine the remains to determine who they were and how that person died.

Anyone with information is asked to call detective James Tebbetts or Sgt. Ryan Smith at (909) 387-3589. Callers may make anonymous tips at (800) 782-7463 or

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