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Bicyclist may have found human bones

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POSTED April 11, 2013 1:54 a.m.

LATHROP – A peaceful bike ride took a grisly turn for one Lathrop area resident Tuesday afternoon after discovering what may turn out to be human remains along the side of the road.

San Joaquin County Sherriff’s deputies got a call at around 5:30 p.m. after the cyclist – who was riding along Manthey Road just north of Dos Reis Road – said that he spotted what looked like a bone on the east shoulder. When he stopped to take a closer look, he came across what appeared to be additional parts of a human skeleton and left to notify police.

An investigation is underway, and according to Sherriff’s Department Public Information Officer Les Garcia detectives are looking into both the remains and open missing persons cases.

In the last two years there have been at least two instances of people going missing from the community.  One, a 69-year old man that wandered away from his home, was discovered by cadaver dogs near the bank of the San Joaquin River two weeks later. Another, a Washington native who was attending truck driving school in the area, was never found.

Sukwinder Singh, 22, was last seen on Oct. 8, 2011 on De Lima Road – less than a mile away from where the discovery was made. A student at the Dasmesh Driving School in Lathrop, Singh reportedly checked into the academy’s boarding quarters, dropped his bags and went across the street towards a gas station with a wad of cash in his pocket.

He hasn’t been seen since, and neither his cell phone nor his credit cards were used in the weeks immediately following his disappearance.

Garcia said that detectives are working closely with the coroner in indentifying the skeletal remains, and added that while there has been no official confirmation made yet, it is “very probable” that the bones are, in fact, human.

All missing persons cases, he said, are typically cross-checked whenever a discovery like this is made.

“Our detectives are currently researching all possible options right now,” Garcia said – adding that it’s too early to determine whether the remains could belong to Singh or another local missing person who has been on the Sherriff’s radar. “Right now we don’t have any information that links those together, but it’s up to the pathologist to work with the detectives to make those determinations.”

Manthey Road used to be a major frontage road for traffic looking to access roads along Interstate 5. Development in Lathrop has led to its closure in several places.

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