DETECTIVES are scouring missing persons records after an anthropologist found that a skull discovered on the banks of the recently-flooded Manning River could belong to a teenage girl who died only a few years ago.
Police believed they were dealing with ancient Aboriginal remains following initial investigations into the discovery of the intact skull near a foreshore park at Manning Point on November 20.
But they released a short statement yesterday calling for assistance in identifying the remains after further examination found that instead of being that of a male adult, the skull could belong to a teenage girl who died in the past few years.
How the skull got to be in a small amount of water on the banks of the Manning River is unknown, but one theory is that recent floodwaters could have dislodged it from its initial resting place.
From where is anyone’s guess – the Manning River stretches about 250kilometres and is fed by several other rivers, including the Nowendoc and Barrington.
Other than a brief statement calling for public assistance, Manning-Great Lakes police remained tight-lipped on the investigation yesterday and any possible theories. However, the homicide squad has been informed and detectives are scouring missing persons reports to see if any match the estimation from anthropology experts.
It was only five years ago that the complete remains belonging to a teenage drifter were found in bush near Taree by soldiers on exercise. Cherylee Masters had been missing since 2000 after telling friends she was leaving Taree to travel to Maitland.
The 18-year-old was known to hitchhike long distances and it was not until September 2006 that her remains were discovered.
No charges have been laid in relation to her murder.
Information about the skull discovery should be directed to Manning-Great Lakes police on 65520399 or Crime Stoppers on 1800333000.