Hikers Find Skeleton In Hills Above Los Angeles

04/01/2015 05:45 pm ET | Updated Jun 01, 2015

By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES, April 1 (Reuters) - Coroner's office investigators on Wednesday recovered skeletal human remains found in the Hollywood Hills above Los Angeles, but said it was too early to tell the age or gender of the body or say how it came to be there.

The bones were discovered by hikers on Tuesday afternoon in a wash running through the hills, and crews spent about five hours excavating them on Wednesday, Los Angeles County Coroner's spokesman Craig Harvey said.

Harvey said personal effects including a backpack were found near the body but that it had not been identified. A forensic anthropologist would try to determine the gender, he said.

"They do not appear to have been buried; the possibility exists that this person died in the wash and over the years runoff deposited soil on and around the body," Harvey said, adding that investigators had estimated that the person died around two years ago.

"We recovered a fairly complete skeletal set," he said. "There are some things we didn't get, but we got the important stuff - skull, mandible."

The body was found about a mile from the Hollywood Hills home where Andrew Getty, the 47-year-old grandson of billionaire oil tycoon J. Paul Getty, was found dead on Tuesday afternoon but police have said the two cases are unrelated.

Once forensic experts are able to determine the gender and estimate an age for the remains, Los Angeles Police Department detectives would try to piece together his or her identity," Harvey said.

Investigators would also seek to determine if the remains belong to anyone currently missing in the Los Angeles area. (Editing by Eric Walsh)

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