CROUSE â€” Authorities with the Lincoln County Sheriffâ€™s Office are investigating the discovery of a skull found in a western Lincoln County shed late last week.
The skull was found in an open garage-type shed behind a house on Old Lincolnton-Crouse road Friday by a woman who recently rented the house, said Lt. Ronnie Matthews, chief investigator with the Sheriffâ€™s Office.
The woman was cleaning out the shed â€” which was full of junk and trash â€” when she discovered a human skull.
The skull was â€œpretty much in tact,â€ Matthews said, and appeared to be old.
There was a small hole in the front of the skull but no damage to the rest of it, Matthews said. Rumors have circulated that the hole was from a gunshot, but Matthews said thatâ€™s hard to tell considering the advanced stages of decay.
Since there was no damage to the rest of the skull, itâ€™s likely the hole was caused by decay, he said.
Sheriffâ€™s detectives and deputies cleaned out the entire shed and did a thorough investigation of the area, Matthews said. No other bones or body parts were located.
Matthews believes the skull had been transferred to the shed from another location.
â€œIt appears the skull had been carried into the building by either somebody or an animal,â€ Matthews said. â€œIt was nothing that was dug up inside that building.â€
The skull was found lying on top of other items in the shed. A box nearby contained paperwork from the 1950s but included nothing related to the skullâ€™s discovery.
There are several private graveyards in the woods nearby, he said. Authorities have been trying to determine whether the skull could have been dug up from an old plot.
The skull is being sent to the Chief Medical Examinerâ€™s Office in Raleigh where it is hoped that its sex and age can be determined.
Until then, Matthews wants to dispel rumors that the Sheriffâ€™s Office is not taking the investigation seriously and wants to calm any fears residents may have.
â€œThis is not like we found a dead body somewhere,â€ Matthews said. â€œWe did a thorough search of the immediate area and found nothing with any other body parts.â€Anyone who thinks they might have information about the discovery of the skull can call the Sheriffâ€™s Office at 704-732-9050.by Alice Smith