by: Richard Thompson Updated:
THURSTON COUNTY, Wash. - Liberty, a black pit bull mix, came back to her Nisqually-area home last Tuesday with a human foot attached to most of a leg. The dog's owner, Bill Flowers, told KIRO-7 he was worried he might get arrested for murder if he called police. "I was afraid they'd blame me for it," said Flowers.
Instead of calling the sheriff's office, Flowers told KIRO-7 he ended up burying the remains in his yard. "I didn't know what to do with it. I took it and put it on top of the wood pile so the dog couldn't get it. It laid there two days and I took it and buried it."
Bill's daughter was shocked when he told her what he had done. "I said 'Oh no we have to call the police,'" said Cheryl Flowers.
The call to 911 prompted a full-scale search in the area on Sunday, where additional remains were found, including a skull, ribcage and pelvis.
Monday, Thurston County detectives were checking for possible links to missing people. Sgt. Cameron Simper tells KIRO-7 "At this point it does not appear that it would be related to any of our current reported missing people or runaways."
Detectives are treating the case as a homicide. Bill Flowers said it appeared to him someone had cut the leg bone cleanly with a saw. Detectives say it will be up to the coroner to determine if tools or animals are responsible for dismembering the body. The remains will be shipped to the King County Medical Examiners Office Tuesday so anthropologists there can try to determine sex, age, and race of the remains.
Cheryl Flowers say having the family dog bring home part of a person's body has been traumatic and she is just praying the remains are identified and detectives can find the killer. "I hope peace for the family. I hope they find out who it is and give them some peace."
Anyone with info about the remains can call Thurston County Dispatch at 360-704-2740 or Thurston County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477)