Skull found in backpack near Oregon highway

A human skull was found near Interstate 5 in northern Oregon, authorities said Wednesday.

The discovery Monday morning was reported by members of an Oregon Department of Corrections cleanup crew, Oregon State Police said in a statement.

The find, near Keizer, a northern suburb of Salem, was initially reported as a suspicious object. State police, which took the item for investigation, described it as a skull inside a "small" backpack.

The remains, believed to belong to a woman in her 30s or 40s, were decomposed and had "no identifiable features," state police said.

The Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office will try to determine the identity of the remains, they said.

The office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In late 2020, roughly 60 miles west, the body of 9-year-old Haley Mae Coblentz was found in a duffle bag near a rest stop along the state's H.B. Van Duzer Scenic Corridor, which leads to the coast.

Two people were charged in connection with the girl's death, but the case was withdrawn.

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