NEW YORK MILLS, Minn. - Police are trying to piece together how skeletal remains ended up near a railroad track in New York Mills.
They say they appear to be human remains, discovered Sunday afternoon.
A man walking through the woods found bones and clothing.
Now, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating a town even the police chief describes as quiet.
“I’ve been here since 2014 and we’ve never had anything like this happen since I’ve been here,” says chief James Gritz.
He says the belongings look like a relatively recent style: yoga pants, a light sweatshirt, and pink shoes, on what Gritz describes as skeletal remains lying on top of the ground.
The BCA spent more than six hours processing the scene.
“It’s been pretty busy, I can’t lie about that,” says Gritz. “Quite a few phone calls, people just curious.”
Shirley Goins, who lives right across the street, has seen that business first hand.
“It’s a lot of traffic,” says Goins. “Maybe 50 cars.”
She’s been watching officers work, first in disbelief.
“I didn't think it was true. Not in our community here. It seems like nothing like that ever has happened here in Mills.”
This community is now hoping a family can have closure.
“They need to have a resting place,” says Goins.
The Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office says there haven't been any recent missing people reported in the area.
The last person to go missing was a disabled woman in the late 1980s.
Carla Anderson, 23, disappeared in 1987, but there is still no confirmation that the remains belong to her.
The bones will be sent for an autopsy.