Idaho sheriff confirms jawbone found at Bear Lake, additional bone fragments discovered

Jul 27, 2023, 6:49 PM | Updated: Jul 29, 2023, 7:10 pm

UPDATE: Authorities said additional bone fragments have been found in the vicinity of the discovered jawbone but they have not been confirmed to be human bones.

People at Bear Lake have reported other discovered bones, because of heightened awareness after the discovery of the human mandible, but so far, those bones have not turned out to belong to humans.

ST. CHARLES, Idaho — Authorities say human bones were uncovered on the Idaho side of Bear Lake Thursday morning.

The Bear Lake County Sheriff’s Office said the remains were found by a group of people making sandcastles on the shores of Bear Lake.

On Friday, Bear Lake County Sheriff Bart Heslington confirmed the remains include the lower jaw bone of a human skull with teeth still intact. The remains were found on public land that’s under the authority of the Idaho Department of Lands.

Brian Hirschi, owner of North Beach Rentals, said it all unfolded near one of their stations, and his workers were stunned.

“They came over to our employees and said they found some bones that looked like a human jaw bone and it had the teeth and everything,” Hirschi said.

“I didn’t believe it at first,” added Chase Eubanks, a worker at North Beach Rentals. “I thought it would be a fish bone or maybe a deer bone, but then I went down and looked for myself, and it was definitely not an animal.”

When Bear Lake County deputies arrived at the scene, they confirmed the remains were human and taped off the site. Heslington said they are working with the Idaho State University Anthropology Department to examine the site and recover any other remains. Idaho State crews started excavating the area around 9 a.m. Friday.

Heslington said they have no cold cases or unrecovered people that could be linked to the remains. Deputies are working with their counterparts on the Utah side of the lake to see if there are any other cases that could be connected to the remains.


“We’re kind of researching historically beyond those timelines, which are probably 35 years to see if we have any other information about any other people that are potentially missing that might have gone missing on the lake,” Heslington said.

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Idaho sheriff confirms jawbone found at Bear Lake, additional bone fragments discovered