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Sheriff enlists Chico State for help with body

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POSTED April 16, 2013 1:32 a.m.

LATHROP – San Joaquin County Sherriff’s Department officials are hoping that experts from Chico State will be able to shed some light into who exactly they dug up on Manthey Road last week.

A lone bicyclist that slowed to take a closer look at what appeared to be a bone near the intersection of Manthey and Dos Reis Roads last week ended up discovering what appeared to be human remains, and when investigators arrived to comb the scene they found more than what was visible from the roadway.

No identification was found near the remains.

According to Sherriff’s Department Public Information Officer Les Garcia, the identity of the person discovered won’t be released until deputies are able to notify the next of kin, and that will hinge on how soon the experts being summoned – an anthropologist and a pathologist – are able to let them know exactly who was found.

The grisly discovery was less than a mile away from where a 22-year-old Washington man – who had just arrived in Lathrop to attend a local truck-driving school – was last seen before disappearing.

Sukwinder Singh – a student at the Dasmesh Driving School – was last seen on Oct. 8, 2011 on De Lima Road, just north of where the discovery was made, after reportedly checked into academy’s boarding quarters, dropping his bags and heading across the street towards a gas station with a wad of cash in his pocket.

Singh’s disappearance was highlighted when another man of East Indian descent – 69-year-old Jarnail Singh – also disappeared. Last seen walking out of his front door, deputies searched for the man for over a week before cadaver dogs were brought in. His body was eventually discovered next to the San Joaquin River which flowed behind his home.

Last week Garcia said that it’s too early in the process to assume any links between the discovery and any missing persons from the area, but added that detectives will likely work with the experts to see if any connection exists.

The section of Manthey Road where the bones were discovered is one of the last remaining segments of the I-5 frontage that remains unencumbered. Development in Lathrop has led to the closure and realignment of another segment. At one time it ran from Dell’Osso Farms clear into Weston Ranch.

The Human Identification Laboratory at Chico State – overseen by the Forensic Anthropology and Bioarchaeology Department – provides services to law enforcement including skeletal reconstruction, analysis and identification. Students work hand-in-hand with faculty to provide the oftentimes costly services to both local and federal agencies.

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