Partial skull could be that of missing Big Isle woman
HILO » The remains of a human skull found in a rural subdivision south of Hilo last month may be that of a woman missing since May, Big Island police said yesterday.
Elizabeth Christensen, 74, was last seen in heavily wooded Fern Forest subdivision on May 15 wearing blue jeans, a yellow sweater, and a blue jacket, police said after she disappeared. She may have suffered from dementia, they said.
On July 26, a man living in the same subdivision reported his dog brought home what police describe as a "partial skull." They declined to give details.
"The condition (of the skull) didn't give any obvious indication of foul play," spokeswoman Chris Loos said.
Police used a dog -- Kati, who's been trained to find human remains -- to search for the body but without success, Loos said.
When Christensen disappeared, police unsuccessfully used a different dog, Tucker, to hunt for her.
Besides not finding Christensen, her own dog which usually accompanied her, was also not found.
The partial skull is being sent to a mainland laboratory for DNA comparison with samples from one of Christensen's relatives, police said.
Police disclosed the discovery of the skull after an inquiry from the Star-Bulletin. People frequently report finding human bones, and the discoveries are not significant enough to merit an announcement, Loos said.