Groveland, CA – Tuolumne County Sheriff’s department has identified the bones found in a mineshaft on public lands near Groveland.
The remains are that of a Groveland man reported missing just two months before the bones were discovered by hikers. Sgt. Andrea Benson reveals, “Positive identification through DNA has been made on the human remains that were found in a mineshaft just outside of the Groveland area on Dec. 24, 2016. The remains are of 58 year old Groveland resident, Noel Burch, who was reported missing.”
There is no word as to whether foul play was involved in Burch’s death as the sheriff’s office is still awaiting autopsy results to determine the cause, according to Sgt. Benson.
As reported here in October, Burch’s sister reported him missing after she had not been able to contact him via the phone for about ten days. Burch’s roommate and caretaker had also not seen him. At the time, Sgt. Benson noted that Burch had a history of mental illness and had wandered off on his property on Jackass Creek Road before, which is close to the mineshaft property.
Additionally, as reported here in December, due to unstable and dangerous conditions in the mineshaft a special team had to be brought in from Southern California to retrieve the bones.