The remains of a scalped Native American woman were found in rural Kentucky. The Native American woman was apparently shot to death and had the definitive markings of a scalping wound in her what remained of her skull. The skeletal remains of a Native American woman indicate she was killed in “modern times” and was not a pioneer-era victim, according to police reports.
Kentucky police department lab staffers have determined that the scalped Native American woman was a very tall female and most likely of Native American descent. Law enforcement officers in the rural area of Barren County, Kentucky do not yet know where the unidentified Native American woman was from or how she got to the area.
A preliminary investigation of the scalping crime scene indicates her body was dumped in the Barren County, the Daily Mail reports. Barren County is approximately 95 miles south of Louisville. The scalped Native American woman’s teeth reportedly showed evidence of modern dental work, the first indicator Kentucky police officers had that the scalped Native American woman had not been killed more than a century ago.
Kentucky State Police Detective Chad Winn noted the unusual nature of the killing during a media briefing and is considering that the scalped Native American woman may have been the victim of a hate crime. Detective Winn also related that Mexican drug cartels have been known to scalp and behead people during “turf wars.”
“I’m not saying there’s no connection tying violence here to the cartels. I’m just saying we can’t do it as this point,” Drug Enforcement Administration agent Jim Balcom stated, according to the Daily Mail.
DEA agent Balcom oversees drug cases in Kentucky, but is not currently involved in the scalping investigation.
The mystery of the scalped Native American woman began almost a year ago when students hiking in the woods in search of a rare tree stumbled upon the top of a skull near a Cumberland Parkway ditch. Police investigators found more bones scattered around a 100-foot area where the partial skull was found, according to WBKO-TV.
The scalped Native American woman is estimated to have been between 20 and 50 years old at the time of her death. Kentucky law enforcement officers believe the bones of the scalped Native American woman were dumped in the woods of Barren County sometime between 1999 and 2010.