Umatilla County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue unit provided new assistance on Saturday in an ongoing investigation into human remains found earlier this year inside the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

On April 22, a private property owner located a body on their land, which the SAR unit helped recover. At the time, the sheriff’s office reported the body lacked identification and they were unable to determine the gender, race or age. CTUIR communications director Chuck Sams said Thursday there were no new updates on identifying the remains.

According to a news release from the sheriff’s office, tribal police asked for assistance in locating more evidence for the case. On Saturday, search and rescue teams located a bone believed to be connected to the case, which remains under investigation.

The search, led by SAR member Bob English, utilized 25 search and rescue volunteers and two search dogs who combed the area for more than 12 hours. SAR personnel from Walla Walla and Union counties assisted in the effort. The difficult terrain included steep slopes covered in brush and trees.

“We are very proud of our SAR team and all who participated,” the news release stated.

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