Autopsy of human remains found at Pawnee Lake completed, identity being withheld

Body found at Pawnee Lake
Body found at Pawnee Lake(1011 NOW)
Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 9:14 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office says the identity of a deceased individual found on Thursday at Pawnee Lake has been identified, but the identity is being withheld until Saturday.

“The family of the deceased has requested the identity be withheld until tomorrow. It is important for the family to have this time to contact other relatives and reflect on the discovery of their loved one. The cause and manner of death is still undetermined pending toxicology results, which could take 4-6 weeks,” LSO said in a release.

Sheriff Terry Wagner said law enforcement found human remains on the southwest side of the lake around 11:15 a.m. on Thursday. He said they were found purposely covered up,

Wagner said that law enforcement found the remains and not a civilian but would not say whether it was a routine search or they were called to the area.

Remains Found near Pawnee Lake
Remains Found near Pawnee Lake(1011 NOW)

He said the remains were covered up and “not visible to the naked eye”, but would not elaborate on what it was covered with. It was found in an area that is not commonly mowed, Wagner said.

The age, sex, and race of the person are not known and there is no indication as to how long the remains have been there. An autopsy is scheduled in Douglas County on Friday at 1 p.m.

The location is being treated as a crime scene.

“There will be no Public Access for vehicular or water traffic to the southwest side of Pawnee Lake while the scene is being investigated. Expect road closures in the area,” LSO said in a release.

1011 NOW asked if the remains could be those of missing La Vista boy Ryan Larsen or missing Lincoln woman Carly Schaaf, and Wagner said his department is keeping those cases in mind.

Authorities are asking anyone with information to call Crimestoppers at 402-441-6500.

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