SANTA FE — Galveston County Sheriff's Office investigators are trying to determine how and why the skull of a man was found in a yard on the outskirts of Santa Fe on Wednesday.

Capt. Barry Cook said that a homeowner found the skull in the side yard of his house in the 11400 block of Sandy Lane. The skull was missing the lower jawbone and all of the upper teeth, Cook said.

The only thing investigators know is that the skull is that of a man.

"It appeared it had been in the elements for quite some time," Cook said. "We think it may have come from an area where land was cleared recently and that a dog or some animal grabbed it and dropped it in this man's yard."

The skull doesn't appear to show any signs of trauma, Cook said.

A cadaver dog was sent to the area near the house Thursday and investigators expect to return next week. Cook said no other bones have been found.

"We don't know how old he was, how he died or when he died," Cook said.

The skull was sent to a forensic anthropologist at Sam Houston State University for closer inspection, Cook said.

The area, at the intersection of Avenue E and 32nd Street, is just starting to see a lot of construction activity, Cook said. He suspects that as land was cleared, the skull was dug up.

"That was a heavily wooded area and never really densely populated," he said.


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