OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ) — A bone found in a case at an Ocean City beach has been sent to the medical examiner’s office to determine if it’s a human or animal bone.
The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office reports the suspected bone was found at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, at Homer Gudelsky Park in West Ocean City.
A couple who said they were wading in the ocean told responding deputies that they found a case, and when they reached inside, they pulled out several items, including: parts of a woman’s shoe, pottery, and what appeared to be a bone.
Other investigators were called out to the scene, and agreed that it looked like a bone.
The suspected bone was then sent to the medical examiner’s office to find out if the bone is human or animal.
The case found by the couple was then found buried in the sand about 20 feet off the low tide shoreline.
The Maryland State Police and Maryland Natural Resources Police Dive teams were called out to help remove the case.
It takes several hours for the dive team to respond, as they are “not centralized” and they must travel from different parts of the state.
While authorities were waiting for the dive team to respond, the tide changed. Authorities said “what was in 3-6 inches of water was now submerged in 5 feet of water.”
“Visibility was less than a foot and the current was moving fast. Divers had to diligently search the bottom floor of the bay by hand to relocate the object,” according to the sheriff’s office.
The sun was also setting, which made it even more difficult for search teams. The search was then called off for Tuesday night, with the search to continue the following morning.
Dive teams were back out Wednesday morning to continue their search, and were able to locate the case.
It was determined that the case was a barrel made of wood.
The barrel was deteriorating, and pieces began to fall off as they worked to dig it up.
Divers were unable to dig the barrel out, so they then decide to dig out the inside of the barrel so they could find what was inside.
Inside the barrel, only sand, clams, and mussels were found, though a scapula bone of a deer was found near the barrel.
The investigation is continuing, and authorities are now waiting for the medical examiner’s office to examine the suspected bone.