(OLYMPIA, Wash.) — Washington authorities are trying to identify the dismembered body that was discovered after a man’s dog dragged home a human leg.
The mystery began when Bill Flowers, 93, went outside last Tuesday to feed his dog, Liberty, the boxer lab mix his daughter had rescued, and was shocked to find the dog standing over a human leg.
“My dad did not know what to do,” his daughter Cheryl Flowers told ABC News Monday. “He’s 93 years old. He picked it up, put it in a plastic bag and buried it. He was panicked.”
Her father said the leg was gray and didn’t look damaged other than being severed. He estimated that it was cut off about four inches below the buttocks.
Cheryl Flowers had been visiting her mother and when she got home on Saturday to her father’s home on the Nisqually Reservation in Olympia, Wash., her father told her what had happened.
“‘Oh my God,’ that’s the first thing I was hit with, of course,” she said. She immediately called 911.
When authorities arrived they attached a GPS to Liberty hoping the dog would lead them to where the leg came from, but it was ultimately search and rescue dogs that found more remains at a nearby fish hatchery that is no longer in use.
Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock told ABC News a “pretty complete set” of remains were recovered, including both legs, rib cage and a skull with the jawbone and teeth.
Though the leg was found relatively intact, the other remains were bones. He does not yet know why, but said it could have been buried and then unburied by the dog that dragged home the leg. The wooded area has a lot of coyotes that could have then gotten to the body.
“We’re going to look for any tool markings to see if there were any tools [used] to dismember it or if it was dismembered by animals,” Warnock said. He does not yet know the gender, age or identification of the body.
“Tomorrow we’ll begin the process of starting to put everything together as far as age, sex, identification and how the person died,” he said.
Warnock said the process could take days or weeks.
Flowers said she has “no idea” who the body could be. “I just pray for the family,” she said.
“You see it on TV but you don’t expect …” she said, trailing off, upset. “And my dad, that had to just shock him into really not knowing what to do. I can’t even imagine what went through his head. He’s a World War II vet and all he thought was, bury it.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Ray Sanchez, CNN Newswire
Chuck Johnston, CNN Newswire