Skeletal remains of 3 children found in Missoula shed still a my - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Skeletal remains of 3 children found in Missoula shed still a mystery

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MISSOULA - The skeletal remains of three children left in a box in a shed in Missoula have police investigating a mystery: Who were the children, how did they die and how long ago did it happen?

A cleaning crew discovered the remains in September. Missoula police said they have a "person of interest" they would like to talk to but emphasize the person is not being considered as a suspect.

A search warrant shows that police were called to a home on the 2100 block of South 12th Street West in late September to investigate the remains. 

"Loose teeth, there was what appeared to be bone from a lower jaw, and others that were not as specifically described, but I would call them pieces of bone. There were also rocks in this box," said Missoula police spokesman Sgt. Travis Welsh.

A professor from the University of Montana Anthropology Department confirmed that the remains are of three children, and estimated they were all 10 years old and younger.

A box containing the remains was discovered by a cleaning crew that was contracted to clean up the rental property after its tenant was evicted the week before in late September.

Once the search warrant was obtained, follow up investigations revealed no evidence of a crime at that property. The children's identities, as well as the cause and manner of their death is now under investigation. 

Police officials say they are working with the Montana State Crime Lab and other agencies on the case.

"Nothing we've been able to connect them too yet, however we are working with the National Center for Missing and Endangered Children and other missing person databases to see if that's a possibility," Welsh said. "The thing is, there are missing children all over the world. And the thing is, we don't know that this particular case is isolated to the city of Missoula. We don't know where the bones came from, and if they were transported from one area to another, and ended up here."

Currently, only a very broad time frame is available to describe how old the bones are. The anthropology department members say they are not ancient, and likely modern. 

There are no suspects as police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the discovery.

RELATED: Remains of 3 children found in Missoula shed

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