Police investigate human remains found in Hendricks County

The remains were found inside this storage tank. (The remains had been removed by the time this photo was taken.)
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The Hendricks County Sheriff's Department confirms they are investigating human remains found in a storage tank near CR 1050 East and Maloney Road.

Police call it a bizarre situation. In fact, the remains nearly went undiscovered.

A man was clearing the property to prepare it for building. His intention was to bring several items, including the old well pump tank, to a landfill. A friend asked him if he could sell it. That friend got more than he bargained for.

"When the scrapper got here, he dragged it out to where you see it here today and began to try to open it up just to see what was in it. It was heavy. He was trying to find out what was inside hopefully to be able to empty it and take it for scrap. He found human remains," said Lt. Jim Yetter, Hendricks County Sheriff's Department.

The sealed tank contained skeletal remains that have been confirmed as human. Police believe the remains are that of a male who died five or more years ago. Investigators found men's shoes and clothing, including a skullcap, along with a blanket and plastic bag.

Coroner Joe Neuman isn't sure if he'll be able to confirm an identity.

"As far as making a positive ID, it may or may never be known," said Neuman.

The coroner says it's a challenging case because of the length of time the bones were in the tank. While he says he hopes to obtain DNA, the bones may be too old. They're counting on help from the University of Indianapolis' forensic and anthropology department.

"They'll take it back, put it together. They'll be able to identity male or female and potentially the race of the person. But again, we don't have any real skull to work with to give us any configuration of the facial features at all," said Neuman.

Police K-9s were brought in to search the area, but no other clues were found.

Detectives will also check a list of missing persons cases.

Meantime, Lt. Yetter added, "I can't believe this could possibly be an accident" because the "remains were found sealed."

There hasn't been a house on the property in seven to ten years.