Jaw Dropping Fishing At The Cape Henlopen Pier

What Do You Do When You catch Human Remains?

(May 26, 2021) … Yesterday Steve, and Tyler were fishing the Cape Henlopen Pier. Steve snagged something and pulled it up. “At first we thought it was a banana peel. Then we realized that is no banana peel. We tried to come up with anything else it could be other than what it was.”

I was at work in DS Custom Tackle’s shop and I get this picture and caption. “Who do we call about this?” I respond … “Did you jig that up or did it hit a minnow? Let me send this to a guy at DSP homicide and let them know. I’d call the rangers or 911, but let me ask. no point in a 911 emergency call.”
The response was send more pictures and I will send this to an anthropologist. Have them contact DNREC (rangers) or call 911.
Less than a minute later.
It is definitely human, most likely male.
Now I was curious what exactly does one do when they catch or find human remains?

Human jaw bone snagged at the Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier .. photo by Tyler Graden

Apparently this happens more often than not, after doing some research. It is fishermen who usually make these finds. So what do you do when you find human remains?
Call 911, or the authority for the area you are located, state park call a ranger. However by calling 911 they will dispatch the necessary people anyway. Then the remains are collected, and turned over to the division of forensic science from there.

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human jaw bone, human remains, what do you if you catch human remains, cape henlopen fishing pier, Delaware state parks
Human jaw bone snagged at the Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier

This jaw bone will be studied and entered into a database at NamUs. It is possible this find could give a loved one some closure. DSP .. “We work hard to help these families find closure.”

NamUs is a national information clearinghouse and resource center for missing, unidentified, and unclaimed person cases across the United States. Funded and administered by the National Institute of Justice and managed through a cooperative agreement with the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth, Texas, all NamUs resources are provided at no cost to law enforcement, medical examiners, coroners, allied forensic professionals, and family members of missing persons.
Over 600,000 individuals go missing in the United States every year. Fortunately, many missing children and adults are quickly found, alive and well. However, tens of thousands of individuals remain missing for more than one year – what many agencies consider “cold cases”. It is estimated that 4,400 unidentified bodies are recovered each year, with approximately 1,000 of those bodies remaining unidentified after one year.

Nice job by the boys for possibly helping out in a cold case. “We fished like crazy after that in case they came and shut the whole pier down for an investigation. We were thinking they are going to go all CSI on this place.”
These boys did pretty well yesterday fishing the pier, even got some fish.

flounder, cape henlopen fishing pier
One of the flounders the boys landed yesterday.

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