Saturday, October 23, 2010

Startling discovery in Halifax

By Roger Bell, Roanoke Rapids Daily Herald

Human remains under investigation

When Ivette Coulombe moved to Halifax from New York City nearly two years ago, she never believed one day she would discover skeletal human remains on her property. However, Friday around 9 a.m., Coulombe, near her home on Montford Street in Halifax, was taking her dog, a Weimaraner-Shar-Pei mix, out for her morning walk in her backyard when they passed under her clothesline.

“I ducked up under the clothesline and that’s when I saw the bone.”

Coulombe, who was a dance major at Lehman University in New York and studied anatomy and physiology, recognized the bone as a human thigh bone. A few steps later, she discovered a leg bone and what appeared to be a jaw with teeth attached.

“It creeped me out a little bit,” Coulombe said.

For some time, she said she could only stand and stare. “You know when you’re half-believing, half-not believing it?” Coulombe said. “That’s how it was at first.”

After a time, Coulombe realized what was happening.

“I started to think, this is a person,” she said.

Coulombe contacted her neighbor Raye Burnell, who was outside the house next door at the time, and directed her to the find. “When I saw it I thought it was a deer,” Burnell said. “I still believe it was a deer.”

Coulombe had her husband call the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office to report the find. As they waited, Coulombe and Burnell began to believe Burnell’s dog, a pit bull which had gotten loose the night before, had found the remains in nearby woods and brought them to the yard.

Coulombe was still in a bit of shock Friday afternoon. “It’s not real,” she said. “I really can’t explain it. I expected to maybe one day see a skeleton in a classroom setting, but not in the woods.”

Capt. Jay Burch, of the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office, confirmed officials were investigating skeletal human remains near Montford Street. The State Bureau of Investigation Forensic Team had also responded, but no identification of the remains has been made.

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