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Police investigating skeleton found at Mud Creek

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Hendersonville police are investigating after a contractor making tests at an abandoned landfill site between Mud Creek amd Green Meadows found a human skeleton on Monday.

The contractor notified City Manager John Connet and City Attorney Sam Fritschner when they found a skull and other bones of what investigators believe to be a male of unknown age.

Investigators collected the body parts and sent them off to the state medical examiner’s officer in Winston-Salem, said police Capt. Chris LeRoy.

“There’s no obvious signs of a cause of death that we could see,” LeRoy said. “We’re theorizing that it’s a male based on the size of the bones but we have no other information.”

City police detectives and sheriff’s investigators are reviewing all their missing reports to see if they come up with any leads that could match the Green Meadows circumstances, LeRoy said.

The skull was on top of the ground and separated from other bones, which the investigators surmise had been scattered by wildlife.

“All the remains that we found did not look like it had been buried at all,” he said.

Investigators don’t know how long the body had been on the site. “We’re hoping the folks in Winston-Salem can give us some idea” on a time of death, LeRoy added.

A contractor working with the city of Hendersonville and the state Department of Environmental Quality has been testing soil and gas levels at the site, which operated as an unregulated dump before 1971, when the Hendersonville Housing Authority bought the property to build Green Meadows.

City Manager John Connet notified property owners on Martin Circle and Lincoln Circle in September that the contractor testing for contaminants had found low levels of landfill gases and no methane gas. The city is working on the next phase of the Mud Creek dump investigation, Connet said, including surface water testing, soil and groundwater evaluation, deeper soil evaluation and determining the total volume of waste. The evaluation and cleanup, if one is needed, is coordinated by the state DEQ’s Pre-Regulatory Landfill Program.