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Quincy body parts mystery partially solved

The remains of various body parts discovered initially Aug. 10, 2017, at a pond near Quincy have been identified as Daniel Hale, 59.

During an autopsy, a latent fingerprint revealed the identification, according to Plumas County Sheriff’s Sergeant Carson Wingfield last week.

That information also agreed with a wallet found at the scene. Wingfield explained that although the wallet held identification it couldn’t be used to make a positive initial identification.

Just how the remains ended up in or around the pond on Bucks Lake Road between Plumas District Hospital and Quincy, remain a mystery.

The last reported contact with Hale was June 12 at Plumas District Hospital. But it remains uncertain when he disappeared.

It was a Quincy resident who discovered the first of the human remains on the afternoon of Aug. 10.

As the homeowner was touring his property next to the pond prior to moving, he discovered what he thought was a leg bone. When he got closer, he discovered it was quite possibly a human hand.

After calling the sheriff’s office, investigators arrived, confirmed the find as human and contacted the California State Department of Justice. That agency helped process the scene as they combed the area for more remains.

According to Wingfield, there was evidence of animal activity and various parts of the remains would be found Aug. 17 and 20 and again Sept. 1. Bears and other wildlife frequent the pond.

“It was a long investigation,” Wingfield said as he examined the case file.

Wingfield said the sheriff’s office had contacts with the victim at various times, but he was never arrested. Although Hale was known around Quincy, Wingfield couldn’t say where he was living at the time of his death.

If anyone has any information on Hale, they are encouraged to contact the sheriff’s office Monday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., by calling 283-6375 or dispatch at 283-6300 anytime.

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