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Meadow Valley forensic dig yet to begin

Dan McDonald

Managing Editor
7/5/2014


A forensic excavation in Meadow Valley will begin later and cost more money than originally expected.

The project, spearheaded by the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office, entails digging up an old well to search for possible human remains.


The dig, originally planned to begin last month, was scheduled after three different cadaver dogs zeroed in on an abandoned well in the area last fall.

The well is close to where a 13-year-old Meadow Valley boy went missing on November 4, 1967.

Sheriff Greg Hagwood said the dig will still take place, likely this summer. He said the delay is partly a matter of logistics. Experts are being assembled from around the country.

The sheriff said many of the experts are being provided by the FBI, which has been reviewing the case.

Two FBI specialists from Virginia were at the dig site June 25.

“The facts and circumstances surrounding this investigation have had to go through a series of reviews all the way up to the national level in Washington,” Hagwood said. “The FBI brought two specialists from Virginia all the way to Meadow Valley. That is very indicative that this has been successfully reviewed and will become a reality.”

Hagwood said the forensic excavation could cost the county more than $100,000. But he said he is determined to complete the dig.

“For the sake of the investigation and for the sake of the missing person and their family, we’re at a point where we are obligated professionally and ethically to find out what’s in that well,” Hagwood said.

The sheriff said he expects the excavation to take seven to 10 days.

“Once this process starts, it won’t stop until it is completed,” Hagwood said. “It’s not a situation where we can work for a couple days and take a week off. Once it starts, it will go daily until it’s completed.”

The operation could involve as many as a dozen specialists and technicians, most of them expected to come from the FBI.

The sheriff emphasized in March that there is no guarantee the remains are those of Mark Wilson.

He said that because the cadaver dogs were trained to detect “historic and prehistoric” human remains, whatever attracted them could be more than 100 years old.

“That is important to bear in mind,” he said in March. “We have no evidence at this point to be able to say the dogs are alerting on (Wilson’s) remains. We don’t have that.”








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