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Human remains found in Cherokee; police decline to release identity

Human remains found in Cherokee; police decline to release identity

The Cherokee Indian Police Department has determined the identity of the person whose remains were found in an open field Tuesday, Jan. 2, but it’s not disclosing any information about the individual beyond that the person was male.

“The family has been notified and to respect their wishes, the Cherokee Indian Police Department will not be releasing the deceased’s name,” reads a Jan. 25 post to the CIPD Facebook page.

In responding to an email from The Smoky Mountain News, the CIPD declined to release other, non-identifying information about the deceased as well, including his date of death, age, race or place of residence. The department also declined to answer whether the death is believed to be the result of a murder, suicide, accident, medical emergency or other cause, and whether any criminal investigation is ongoing associated with the death.

The situation was first made public in a CIPD Facebook post made at 5:42 p.m. Jan. 2 notifying the community that CIPD officers were on scene near the Casino Trail area on the Qualla Boundary, where human remains had been discovered in an open field earlier that afternoon. At that time, the CIPD said that the situation did not represent a threat to the community and noted that no identification had been made and the investigation was ongoing. Later that evening, the CIPD announced that the remains had been determined to belong to a male.

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