Society

Homeless Man In California Finds Remains Of Human Hand

| by Reve Fisher
Angeles Crest Mountains Scene.Angeles Crest Mountains Scene.

After the skeletal remains of a human hand were found in the mountains near Los Angeles, investigators are trying to find the rest of the body.

Joe Washburn, a homeless man who lives in a tent near the Angeles Crest Mountains, told ABC 7 News he was searching for gold when he came across the hand on Nov. 1. The remains were on a rock in a canyon in the Los Angeles National Forest near Tujunga.

"I looked down and there it was — a hand, a skeletal hand," Washburn told ABC 7 News. "The backside of the hand was laying up. I could see the fingernails, and I went 'that's a hand.' It was white, and some of the skin was still on it."

Washburn said he didn't see any other body parts in the area as he removed the remains from the mountains. “I got a stick and I scooped up the hand cause it was curled up so I put a stick through it and I carried it like a fishing pole down through the mountains," he told NBC 4 News.

The homicide department was summoned to investigate the scene and to search for other body parts, but none have been found, according to the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.

The hand seemed to belong to an adult, but it is unknown whether the person was male or female. Officials were hoping fingerprints could be used to identify to whom the hand belonged.

Washburn is wondering if the skeletal remains belong to a friend of his who went missing a year ago, who was believed to have been murdered. He said the hand appeared to be old and mummified, meaning that this person did not die recently.

"I went 'that's part of someone; that is something that's not Halloween,'" Washburn told ABC 7 News. "I forgot it's Halloween, and when I seen that I was like 'wow, man.'" 

Sources: ABC 7 News, NBC 4 News / Photo credit: ABC 7 News