"We just found a human skull": Tree trimmer discovers human remains while on the job

·2 min read

On Monday, June 27, Coty Turner was clearing trees for West Tree Service when he picked up what he thought was a deflated soccer ball.

He turned it over to see it was a human skull with no face.

Turner kept looking in the area and found the face of the skull, teeth and all.

Turner and his trimmer team were trimming off the 2900 block of Cliff Drive, a hilly, wooded area about a half mile south of Southside High School.

Turner called over his foreman, Chad Scott and his brother Adrian Scott, to show them what he had found.

Immediately, the team wanted to know what had happened.

They called Fort Smith Police and officers Tobias Arriola and Ashton Ligon arrived at the scene.

In a release to the public the department stated:

"We're seeking identification from the medical examiner and will release more information once we have been able to make contact with the individual's next of kin."

So far, there are no signs of foul play, said Aric Mitchell, a Fort Smith Police spokesman.

The identity has not yet been reported by the Sebastian County Coroner's office.

Officers have checked missing persons reports.

The skull was found with other skeletal remains. A firearm and a wallet were also found nearby, Mitchell said.

Coty Turner stands in front of a West Tree Service truck in Fort Smith. Turner is a class B trimmer.
Coty Turner stands in front of a West Tree Service truck in Fort Smith. Turner is a class B trimmer.

"It'd be nice to know exactly what I found and hopefully it just helps helps a family out," Turner said. "I've had a few people reach out to me on Messenger and ask questions, because they're they're hoping it's the person that has been missing. They're hoping but then again, they don't want it to be but just to give them some rest."

Turner said this wasn't the first time he had found a gun at work, but it was definitely a first to find human remains.

"(The detective's) immediate response was that they found so many bones that there might be multiple bodies," Turner said. "With further investigation, they could conclude that it was just one body or multiple."

This article originally appeared on Fort Smith Times Record: Human skull found in Fort Smith, medical examiner works to identify