NORTH COLLINS, N.Y. - A buried human body discovered this weekend has been excavated for a forensic team and is off to the Erie County Medical Examiner's office.
The Erie County Sheriff's Office said two people called deputies after they found a boot sticking out of the ground in a wooded area near Marion J. Fricano Town Park Saturday morning.
A responding deputy examined the boot and determined part of a leg and foot were sticking out from the ground. The deputy confirmed it to be part of a human skeleton. Erie County Sheriff's Capt. Greg Savage told 2 on Your Side on Sunday that the remains appear to be from a man.
Deputies, detectives, and an anthropology team from Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa. are assisting with the excavation, according to Erie County Sheriff's spokesman Scott Zylka.
Teams worked overnight Saturday into Sunday morning to carefully remove some of the remains.
It is not known at this time how long the remains may have been buried, according to Zylka.
However, Erie County Sheriff's Captain Greg Savage said it's possible that the body has been buried there 10 years or more.
The cause of death cannot be determined at this time. The person's identity is also likely days away from being known.
Deputies recalled Sunday that an adult male did go missing from neighboring Brant about 15 years ago, but that speculation would have to be researched. The body could apply to any ongoing missing persons case.
The Sheriff's Office will have to investigate if this was, in fact, a murder. Captain Savage said Sunday that the town park off of Gowanda State Road (Rt. 62 South) was not always developed as it is now, and may have served as a place for someone to pull off the road and discreetly commit a crime. He emphasized they do not know anything for sure at this time.