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Human remains found at High Cliff State Park; UPDATE: body belonged to male

Updated: Sep 30, 2021

Posted at 4:20 p.m. on September 29, 2021

Updated at 2 p.m. on September 30, 2021

The Brillion News

SHERWOOD - The upper level of High Cliff State Park was closed to the public after hikers in the park found human remains in the park on Tuesday, September 28.

On Thursday, September 30, Calumet County Sheriff Mark Wiegert said the remains were those of an older post-adolescent male.

"They are not associated with any Native American burial site however the remains appear to have been at the location for an extended period of time," Wiegert said in a Thursday update.

The hikers who initially found the remains have been identified and are cooperating with law enforcement. The Sheriffs Office asks that the community and the media to not contact them and to respect their privacy.

"The Sheriffs Office along with The State Crime Lab as well as Anthropologists are continuing their investigation at the site," Wiegert said. "The upper park area will remain closed through noon on Friday."

From the original post on September 29:

Calumet County Sheriff Mark Wiegert said the investigation is just beginning, and he issued a call for the people who discovered the body to contact his department.

Those people were never identified by park rangers.

[Photo: Wiegert speaking to the press >>]

"We were notified yesterday evening, Tuesday evening, by the High Cliff State Park rangers, that they had two hikers who had discovered some potential human remains,": Wiegert said in a Wednesday afternoon press briefing at park headquarters in the lower level of the state park.

"Those human remains were examined by an anthropologist, as well as [by] the Calumet County Medical Examiner's Office, [and] at that time they were determined to be human," the sheriff said.

The investigation is in the hands of the Calumet County Sheriff's Office, which is working with the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory.

An anthropologist from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh is working with investigators to examine the scene where the remains were found.

"At this point, all I can tell you is that we have some human remains. We don't know how they got there. We're not sure if there is some type of burial ground in the area, but there's none that we know of at this point," Wiegert said.

[<< Photo: Wiegert got an update just before his 3:30 p.m. press conference on Wednesday.]

He said the scene is being processed by crime scene technologists and he is hoping that work will give investigators more information.

The remains are not fresh.

"They have been there at least several months, [and] maybe quite a bit longer," the sheriff said.

He said the remains found Tuesday are "potentially pretty old."

Wiegert said he would not divulge anything about the scene where the remains were found.

"It is somewhat of a secluded area, however it is an area where people do go hiking quite regularly," Wiegert said.

The two hikers who found them contacted park rangers - who did not identify them or take their names.

"The people who discovered this, two hikers, a male and a female, who had spoken with the state park officials, we'd like them to contact us," the sheriff said.

"They were not identified early on by the state park officials ... We would like them to contact us at the Calumet sheriff's office."

Those calls can be made to the sheriff's department at 920-849-2335.

The sheriff said he does not believe this discovery has anything at all to do with the discovery of a body on the UWGB campus a day earlier.

Wiegert said law enforcement is not aware of any old burial sites in the area where the remains were found.

The work of processing the scene began around 3 p.m. Wednesday. Wiegert said it would involve some excavation - thus closing the upper level of the park which overlooks the northeast corner of Lake Winnebago.

~ Ed Byrne/BN Text and photos

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