SAN DIEGO — A man flagged down a lifeguard to report what appeared to be a human skull and other body parts in a fire pit on Fiesta Island Thursday, prompting a homicide investigation.
The remains were reported on the east side of the island, a popular park area within Mission Bay.
Police said the man, who frequents the island, was driving past the area in his van when he noticed a mess on the sand, where there appeared to have been a party, based on trash and other debris. When the man got out to clean up the sand, he saw what appeared to be a skull, some teeth and other body parts in the fire pit, a photographer who spoke with the man told FOX 5.
The man saw a passing lifeguard’s boat and flagged them down. After the lifeguard took a look at the pit, they called police to investigate. About a half-mile of Fiesta Island Road, which wraps around the area, was closed to traffic near the entrance to Fiesta Island Youth Camp.
“They did find some possible remains in a fire pit. An image of those remains was sent to a forensic anthropologist who also believed they were possibly human in nature,” San Diego Police Department Lt. Matt Dobbs said.
SDPD was in charge of the investigation, and homicide detectives, the Metro Arson Strike team, several patrol cars and the lifeguard’s boat could all be seen in the area into Thursday afternoon. Police said on Twitter the area would be closed to the public for several hours.
The San Diego County Medical Examiner will ultimately make the call on if the remains were human, Dobbs said, though he did not provide a timeline for when those findings would be released.