Thursday, March 30, 2006

Send in the Clowns...

Reading DF's latest post about a traveling post-mortem display made me reminisce about a tale that I actually experienced, and then when I watched Bones last night, I knew I had to tell it to all of you.

I live fairly near to the three corners area of Utah, Idaho, and Nevada and have spent a lot of time in all three States as a result. So it's not uncommon for us to treat the entire area as home.

One morning my dad and I were downtown trying to get our pivot un-stuck, and didn't have a chain, so I ran down to my cousin's house to borrow one. When I got there, he loaned me the chain and then asked what I was doing that day. I, of course, pretty well had the whole day planned out and the first thing on the list was getting the pivot working. "Why don't you just drop everything else and come with us. I guarantee you, you'll not be doing anything today that can't wait, and this'll give you a story you can tell forever." "What are you doing?" I asked. "We're going up to retrieve a dead body that's been there for about 10 years."

Now I was intrigued, and coincidentally... everything on my schedule suddenly became less important.

I took the chain down to the pivot and we pulled it out of the mud, did a few other minor things with it, and then jumped into the pickup and headed for Nevada and the rendezvous.

About 10 years earlier, a car just showed up next to my cousin's ranch in Nevada. It had Utah plates and appeared to have some things in it, but it just sat there. After a couple of weeks... Let me explain a little bit more. You see, my cousin's ranch is about 50 miles from here on a dirt road that doesn't see through traffic but once in a blue moon. It's just about as far from anywhere you can be and not consider yourself lost. Seeing how it's so remote, they don't get a lot of visitors except during hunting season, so when this car showed up in the fall of the year, they chalked it up to some hunters or hikers or such.

Now after a couple of weeks, the car was still in the same place and there was no activity anywhere around it like a tent or campsite. It was at this point they decided to investigate further and looked in the car. There in the front was a letter stating that the occupant had gone to commit suicide, and that this car should be sold and the money given to the Salvation Army. My cousins, of course, called the cops. Since they were in Elko County, the Elko County Sheriff had to come out, but because my cousins have homes here in Idaho, the local Sheriff was also called out. Furthermore, because the car was from Utah, the Box Elder County Sheriff also made the trip. It was decided that the occupant had probably already killed themselves by now, or was a victim of foul play, so they pulled the information on the plates and found out that it had been registered to a woman in Salt Lake City. They put together a search party and spread out over the mountains to search for signs of the crime scene.

This is one of the interesting tidbits... the car was pulled off of the North side of the road and was facing North, so the search party only concentrated their efforts on the North side of the road. I don't think this was a conscious decision on anyone's part, it just happened that way. They naturally assumed that she would head off in the same direction that the car was pointed, and so that's where the search took place. They looked for two days and didn't find anything, so the search was called off, the case file left open, and the car was towed and sold with the money given to the Salvation Army.

Now we come back to the then present time. A retired couple from the local town enjoys hiking up in the back country. The fellow was pretty much raised with my cousin and developed a childhood friendship that lasted them both throughout their lives. Because of this, he liked to drive up and go hiking around my cousin's ranch.

It was on their last outing that he slightly outpaced his wife along a cow trail and while he was waiting for her to catch up, looked around and could see something white under a juniper tree in the distance. He thought it was a dead calf and walked down to see if it had an eartag or something so that he could tell my cousin about it. As he walked closer, he could start to see that it wasn't a calf, but it definately was a set of bones, only with clothes on. Then, under the same tree, he noticed a backpack.

Once his wife caught up to him, they couldn't help themselves but to take a look into the backpack, so they sneaked a quick peek. Of course it was like window peekin' so they hurriedly shut the backpack and walked back to their pickup. Like all good remorseful folk, they took the backpack with them.

Once they got back home, they went through the backpack with a bit more confidence and in it were her drivers license with the picture cut out, her suicide letter, an envelope with $1000 bucks in it for her cremation, and some other minor stuff. Again they felt remorseful, so they called up the neighbor, who is a detective on the police force and he came down and inspected it with them. They told him the whole story, and he went to work the next day and pulled the file and got ahold of the Elko County Sheriff where they worked out a time and place for their meeting the next day to go and retrieve the body.

And here's where I came in.

Don't miss our next episode!


Anonymous bc said...


3/30/2006 5:45 PM  
Blogger trinamick said...

Oh come on, you can't just stop in the middle of a story. It's not right, and you know it.

*grumble* this isn't Fox, dang it...

3/31/2006 10:59 AM  
Blogger NYPinTA said...

Well... since she was nothing but bones, do they get to keep the 1000 bucks?

Just wondering.

3/31/2006 11:18 AM  
Blogger LL said...

"Oh come on, you can't just stop in the middle of a story. It's not right, and you know it."

Wha? :innocent:

It's a fairly long tale, so I decided I'd better do it in installments rather than let Blogger eat the whole thing.

"do they get to keep the 1000 bucks?"

We'll see... we'll see.

3/31/2006 12:58 PM  

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