MISSION VIEJO (CBSLA) — Orange County Sheriff’s deputies continued their investigation Tuesday after a Mission Viejo man found what might be human bones in his backyard.

According to a sheriff’s spokesperson, the owner of the home in the 24000 block of Via Madrugada was digging post holes for a fence in his backyard Monday when he found the bones. A neighbor then called the sheriff’s department.

“Yesterday, they were digging in the backyard by the pool, and they found a bag,” Joe Onufer, the neighbor, said. “And they looked in the bag — it looked old — and it had a skull and some bones.”

Neighbors said the homeowner who found the bones has only lived there for eight months. Before that, three other families have lived there since the home was built in 1973.

“I’m quite surprised,” Dolores Sahelian, a neighbor, said. “It’s usually a very quiet neighborhood.”

But on Tuesday morning, police had roped off parts of the street as they collected bones and other evidence from the backyard.

“I went to speak with one of the officers, and he said they were human remains,” Onufer said. “I’m not going to speculate on what it is, but I think something horrible happened.”

The sheriff’s department said it was too soon to know whether the remains, which have since been taken to the crime lab, were human or animal.

“They’ll make the determination of exactly how they did it and what was found,” Lt. Kevin Navarro said.

The investigation was expected to resume Wednesday morning, though officials said there was no immediate threat to the public.


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