Human remains were discovered Monday near St. Dunstan’s Episcopal School on St. Croix by a person working near the property, the V.I. Police Department reported.
The concerned citizen contacted the 911 Emergency Call Center just after 10 a.m. and told responding officers that he was working in the area when he observed the remains, according to the police report.
“Officers then observed what appeared to be human remains, however due to the stage of decomposition of the body, they were unable to identify the individual,” the report stated.
The case remains under investigation. Anyone with information should call 911, the CIB Tip Line at 340-778-4850, or Crime Stoppers V.I. at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).
Monday’s discovery comes less than a month after a man’s body was found in the water near the Edward Wilmoth Marine Terminal on May 17 on St. Thomas. In that case, a caller alerted 911 around 6 a.m. after seeing the person floating in harbor. Police were awaiting an autopsy to confirm the cause of death, and have not identified the person.
According to the Justice Department’s National Missing and Unidentified Persons System website, or NamUs, there have been at least two other cases of unidentified remains in the territory in recent years.
On Sept. 23, 2018, a body was found washed up on the shore of Inner Brass, a cay off the North Side of St. Thomas. While it was determined to be an adult, nothing else is known as the person was “not recognizable” as the remains were a “near complete or complete skeleton.”
On July 11, 2016, human remains were found in international waters near the U.S. Virgin Islands but were so decomposed that officials could not determine an age or whether the body was that of a child or an adult.
According to NamUs, at any given time up to 100,000 persons may be reported missing in the United States, with as many as 600,000 reported annually.
“While many of these individuals are found alive and well, some become long-term missing persons. At the same time, federal, state and local medicolegal death investigators are constantly working to provide names to thousands of deceased persons nationwide,” according to NamUs.
“Over 11,000 sets of unidentified human remains were held in medical examiner and coroner offices throughout the U.S. according to the 2018 Census of Medical Examiners and Coroners,” it said.