(Reuters) - A Boy Scout troop from Utah discovered a skull and other human skeletal remains while hiking in Arizona and the local sheriff’s office is investigating, authorities said on Monday.
The grim find was made on Saturday in a remote northwestern part of the state known as the Arizona Strip, near Temple Trail Road about 17 miles south of Hurricane, Utah, authorities said.
The local medical examiner’s office recovered the remains, and identification and autopsy results are pending, the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona said in a statement.
The Salt Lake Tribune newspaper said a blanket and a pair of trousers were also discovered nearby.
The Boy Scouts involved were aged 11 to 14 and belong to a troop from Cedar City in southern Utah, said Paul Tikalsky, a senior scouting official with the Cedar Breaks District.
Tikalsky said there were at least two adult leaders with the youths, who were taking part in one of their regular camping trips during which they are encouraged to set up tents, cook outdoors, hike, and carry out various leadership activities.
“Our leaders and boys did the right thing. They left the remains alone and contacted the authorities,” Tikalsky told Reuters by email. “Our Scouts are out in the back country quite a bit. It could have been a long time before this person’s remains were found, if the Scouts hadn’t come across them.”
Reporting by Daniel Wallis in Denver; Editing by Sandra Maler