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Hair, piece of skull possibly found at Pitzer dig site
Authorities say its too early to tell
HINKLEY • Volunteers may have found hair and a piece of skull inside of a Hinkley well during the latest search for the remains of April Pitzer, but authorities say it’s too early to tell.
Pitzer was 30 years old in 2004 when she was last seen alive in Newberry Springs, days before she was to return to native Arkansas.
Her disappearance is being investigated as an active homicide case.
On Thursday, a handful of volunteers digging through dirt from a well off Dixie Road in Hinkley uncovered what they believe may be a hunk of skull with long brown hair attached to it, according to Pitzer’s mother, Gloria Denton.
Denton arrived in the area from Arkansas on Sunday with hopes of finally finding her daughter. She said she received a tip that April’s body may have been dumped in the well.
“What it actually looks like to me,” she said, “there very well could be four inches of skull, but it is covered with melted plastic. There is hair four and a half inches across and six to seven inches in length.”
Authorities are waiting on test results.
“Nothing has been identified as human at this point,” San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Det. Mike Walker said Friday.
Walker is the lead investigator on the case and was in the area Thursday conducting follow-up interviews in light of new information relayed through Denton.
“I brought the hair samples and everything that was located yesterday to our coroner’s office,” Walker said. “I can’t say if it’s a skull or not. There was some kind of substance attached to the hair.”
Walker said it was similar to substances found at the well on Wednesday, which had not been determined to be human.
It’s possible Denton will know whether or not what volunteers found Thursday is human, or her daughter, before she is set to return home Monday.
“We’ll try to get (the results) as soon as we can,” Walker said. “We’re trying to do the best we can for her.”
Meanwhile, volunteers were not digging Friday, but will resume Saturday. A memorial for Pitzer at Mead Mortuary Funerals and Cremations on Irwin Road is scheduled Saturday at 7 p.m.
Denton wanted to thank Best Western, Comfort Suites, Sparkletts Water and Home Depot for their donations and assistance thus far during this week’s searches.
Shea Johnson may be reached at (760) 256-4126 or at SJohnson@DesertDispatch.com.