CAMERON, Texas — A man traveling along U.S. 77 in Cameron decided to stop at an abandoned house on Jan. 11, just to peek and see what was inside. What that man saw would spark an investigation producing far more questions than answers.
A fully intact human skull, pale white and free of any trauma, was spotted lying on the middle of the home’s wooden floor – the only item left in the abandoned house beside an old piano.
"Where it was found was right in front of the cellar stairs in a little mini hallway, right where the bathroom would be," said Lt. Bill Behler, lead investigator for the case with the Milam County Sheriff’s Office.
The current property owner, Behler explained, recalls that the last renter from 2013 owned medical books and what appeared to be a medical-use skeleton.
“It was an elderly man, and he was in the medical field," Behler said. "But the current owner can’t remember, because he only talked to him briefly.”
The sheriff’s office sent the skull in for DNA testing with Texas State University in San Marcos. Nonprofit TEXSAR, who assist in search and rescue efforts, performed a volunteer-led search of the property recently, uncovering no new clues.
Milam County Sheriff Mike Clore noted that the case is peculiar, as the skull appeared to be bleached. Skulls from decomposing bodies are often darker in color and will have damage from wild animal activity.
"My hope is that it’s just a piece of medical stuff that somebody left behind, or somebody had it and put it in there as a prank," Clore said, noting he was still unsure if a crime of any kind had taken place. "... Once we’re able to get DNA and see if there’s some kind of a match, then I’ll be able to have a better thought on it.”
Behler said that the home has been unoccupied since 2013 when the elderly tenant moved away and then eventually died. In fact, most former renters and owners connected to the home have passed away, leaving police with a number of dead ends, Behler noted.
The home has remained unlocked and attracts a lot of curious visitors and burglars. The current property owner only uses the land for cattle. Clore stated that the current property owner is not considered a suspect in the investigation.
“I know it’s going to be a very long investigation," said t. Behler. "The DNA results are currently about nine months behind.”
Anyone who has information they think might be helpful to this investigation, Clore asked that they contact law enforcement. The Milam County Sheriff's Office can be reached at 254-697-7033, and anonymous tips can be submitted to Milam County Crime Stoppers at the following link: