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Sheriff: Remains discovered by dogs believed to be missing hunter

5:13 PM, Feb 23, 2011   |    comments
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The Jefferson County Sheriff tells 10News that while they haven't made a positive ID yet, they believe the remains found last week in New Market are those of missing hunter Steve Buchanan.

Buchanan was last seen heading out on a hunting trip with his dogs in July.  On Friday, a pair of dogs dragged some of the remains into a woman's yard.

Sheriff Bud McCoig says they also haven't determined a cause of death yet, but they are treating it as a murder investigation.

Once a positive identification is made, investigators will meet with the District Attorney General's Office to determine how to proceed.

Previous story: Authorities investigate human remains found

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department is investigating human remains found Friday morning in the Piedmont Community in New Market.

According to Sheriff Bud McCoig, the discovery was made after dogs dragged the remains into yard off of Shields Ridge Road.

"Followed the dog as it walked off and followed the dog went to another location about half a mile from the scene and discovered the rest of the remains from the body," explained McCoig.

Authorities with the University of Tennessee Forensics Department searched land near Foothill Road on Friday afternoon.

Neighbor Hillary Combs said she walks near that road often and never saw anything suspicious.

"Even the big mowers have come down and mowed everything recently they didn't see it," said Combs. "It's just a sad, sad day."

Sheriff McCoig can only describe that the human remains are those of a man. He's not ruling out the possibility that the remains to belong to Steve Buchanan. Buchanan has not been seen since July, and is currently Jefferson County's only missing persons case.

"We haven't found and we're looking for, doing some comparisons for that to see if it's not that person or is that person," Sheriff McCoig added.

The remains were sent to UT Medical Center's Forensics Department for an autopsy.

TBI and the District Attorney General's office are also investigating the case.

Previous Story: "Dog drags human remains into Jefferson Co. yard"

A Jefferson County resident found human remains Friday morning that had apparently been drug by a dog into their yard.

Jefferson County Sheriff Bud McCoig said a pair of pants and bones were discovered in the 1300 block of Shields Ridge Road in the New Market area around 7:30 a.m. Friday.

Deputies then followed the dog about half a mile into a nearby wooded area where they discovered additional remains.

The remains had been there for some time, McCoig said.

According to the sheriff, Jefferson County has only one open missing persons case: the disappearance of hunter Steve Buchanan.

In addition to the sheriff's office, the TBI and the District Attorney General's office are investigating.

Investigators were waiting on forensic anthropologists from the University of Tennessee to arrive and help with the investigation.

 

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