Montana News

Oct 4, 2012 3:46 PM by Melissa Anderson - MTN News

Investigation into discovery of skull near Helena continues

HELENA - Powell and Lewis and Clark counties are investigating human remains found on MacDonald pass last week which include a skull.

The skull and remains were found Sept. 26 by a couple who had stopped by the side of the dirt road near the pass area near U.S. Highway 12 West, as they were walking their dogs. The dogs found the remains between a creek bed and the road.

The State Crime Lab in Missoula is trying to identify the remains, which could take several weeks.

Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton did not rule out that the remains could belong to Mike Crites, a Birdseye-area man whose partial remains were discovered at a separate location on MacDonald Pass in October 2011. Crites had been reported missing in late June 2011.

It took until January of 2012 to positively identify DNA from those bones, which were found deposited in plastic bags.

Sheriff's logs show that warrants were issued on Wednesday morning for two residences near Crites' property on Turk Road.

While Dutton wouldn't comment on the particulars of the warrants, he did say officers are questioning people in Crites' murder investigation. He also said that Connie Crites, the sister of Mike, has been notified of the findings.

Powell County Sheriff Scott Howard said his county doesn't have any open murder investigations. When asked if the severed human legs found in the Butte area may be connected, he said he believed these were two separate victims.

Both sheriffs said they want to erase any fear of serial killers in this investigation. They are asking for the public's patience as they work through their investigation to try to develop evidence and possibly lead to arrests.

They say they are working diligently to put the pieces of the puzzle together to build a case that will hold up in court.

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