NENAHNEZAD — The FBI and Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety are looking for help in identifying human remains found in Nenahnezad last year.
Locals found a skull and bone fragments exposed in a field near the Nenahnezad Chapter House on May 26, 2012.
They immediately notified local law enforcement near Nenahnezad, which is a community on the Navajo Nation between Farmington and Shiprock, slightly south of Fruitland.
"They were strewn about a field," said Frank Fisher, spokesman for the FBI in Albuquerque.
The field, which was made mostly of dirt, rock and desert plants, was only 200 yards west of the chapter house, where the community frequently gathers for meetings and events.
The skull was in poor shape, though it was intact enough for the FBI to create a model of the John Doe's face based on the bone structure.
"It's not even close to a full skeleton," Fisher said.
The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator first examined the bones and then forwarded them to the FBI lab in Quantico, Va. It has taken more than a year to conduct all of the tests needed to fully examine the findings.
The lab believes that the remains are those of a Hispanic or Native American male who was between 28 and 52 years old when he died.
He had a permanent retainer behind the lower front teeth and a small chip on the upper right front tooth. He had all four wisdom teeth removed, and he once broke his nose, though it later healed.
The FBI does not yet know how long the bones had been there prior to their discovery. However, the dental retainer indicates that they are not ancient, according to a Tuesday press release from the FBI.
The FBI also does not yet know the cause of death, nor if foul play was involved.
"We can't tell," Fisher said. He said the agency hopes someone who is missing a loved one will recognize the face and help identify the remains.
Anyone who wants more information can contact the FBI in Albuquerque at 505-889-1300. The line is open 24 hours.