Beckham County Sheriff: Human remains found near Mayfield

A burial site along CR 1160 about 5 miles west of Mayfield in Beckham County where human remains were found Monday evening. (Beckham County Sheriff's Office)

The Beckham County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) reports a man brought part of a skull and some other bones to the sheriff's office on Monday, Nov. 13th.

The man reported finding the remains in an embankment, according to Sheriff Derek Manning, five miles west of Mayfield, Okla. along County Road 1160. Deputies secured the area and notified the Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office.

A representive of the medical examiner looked at photographs of the remains and told the BCSO to contact Oklahoma University archaeologists.

Sheriff Manning said the bones appeared to be old.

"Our first concern was to make sure that we didn't have a crime scene," Manning said. "From a layman's standpoint it can be difficult to determine if bones are a few years old, decades old, or centuries old. All we knew for certain was that we were looking at a shallow grave that had apparently been exposed by erosion. Either way, we felt it was prudent to protect the remains until they could be properly handled. We secured the scene and kept it under guard all night until OU's archaeologists could arrive and examine it."

The archaeologist from OU arrived and found the rest of the remains. It was then determined the bones were female and could be several hundred to several thousand years old.

"The archaeologists told us that the burial site, which was about two feet below ground level, contained a full set of human remains. There did not appear to be any other burial sites in the area, so they surmised that this person may have been part of a nomadic group traveling through the area," Manning said.

The burial site was turned over to OU's archaeologist.

"Anyone who finds what they believe to be any sort of human remains, whether archaeological in nature or not," said Sheriff Manning, "should immediately contact the sheriff's office and leave the remains undisturbed." Manning added it is against the law to intentionally disturb a burial site or human remains.

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