Curious Puppy Digs Up Human Bones On Beach — Mystery As More Remains Wash Up On Massachusetts Shore

Jonathan Vankin - Author
By

Dec. 15 2014, Updated 7:19 a.m. ET

A puppy out for a morning stroll with her owner on a chilly Massachusetts beach when the pup made an usual discovery — a human foot, with a sock on it. And that was only the beginning. A woman on the same beach in the North Shore town of Newbury also found a bone.

More bones washed up on Plum Island Beach as the day went on.

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“It’s a disturbing thing to find on your beach you walk every day,” said Bill Barret, owner of Tessa, the curious puppy. “We were just out for a walk on the beach with the dog. We walked over there, and I said, ‘no leave it.’ It was the lower half of the leg with foot still attached, sock on the foot.”

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The cute, chocolate Labrador retriever pup was not the only one to find bones on the beach. Barrett said that the first discovery came from a woman also walking on the beach, where temperatures were in the 30s, who appeared at first to be picking through debris there.

“She called me over and said what do you think this is? It was a good sized bone. I said it looks like a leg bone,” Barrett recounted.

After that, his dog found the sock-covered foot.

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Investigators were then called to the beach and conducted a thorough search of the coastline there. And sure enough, they discovered even more remains. At first, the investigators were unable to figure out if the bones were animal or human, but perhaps the foot with a sock on it was a clue, because they soon confirmed that they had indeed discovered the remains of at least one human being.

Barrett said the leg and foot appeared large enough to be from an adult male.

On Sunday, police returned to Plum Island Beach with cadaver-sniffing dogs. Unlike Barrett’s pup, these dogs are trained to look for dead bodies, or at least pieces of dead bodies.

“There was an effort to organize a sweep of this entire area to make sure there was nothing else, being conducted right now,” said Newbury Deputy Police Chief John Lucey.

The cadaver dogs did their job, unearthing even more human body parts, which may have washed up on the beach with shifting tides since the initial discovery by Barrett and his dog.

The cops are now rifling through unsolved missing persons cases, in an attempt to figure who the bones might actually belong to. They say it will be several days before they have any further information about the person or persons whose bones washed up on the beach, to be found by a curious puppy.

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