Human remains found in Jefferson County

Human remains found in Jefferson County

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A woman who lives on Shields Ridge Road told investigators her two pet dogs dragged a pair of rotted blue jeans into her yard. A woman who lives on Shields Ridge Road told investigators her two pet dogs dragged a pair of rotted blue jeans into her yard.

DANDRIDGE (WATE) - The discovery of human remains Friday morning in Jefferson County led to an investigation by the sheriff's office.

A woman who lives on Shields Ridge Road told investigators her two pet dogs dragged a pair of rotted blue jeans into her yard.

When she checked the jeans, she found what looked like human bones.

An investigator noticed one of the dogs was wandering off and followed it for about a half mile to some nearby woods. That's where more remains, including some boots, were found about 20 feet off Foothill Road.

"This is a rural area of the county. Weeds had growed up over and into the clothing," said Sheriff Bud McCoig. "It has been mowed since the body was laying there, but nobody noticed it."

Sheriff McCoig says the clothing appears to be a man's and his office has an unsolved missing man case from July 2010, but they don't know yet if it's connected to these remains.

Steve Buchanan, 53, of Dandridge, a well-known boxer and trainer, vanished in July after a hunting trip with his step-son Ashley Vanatter.

Vanatter is a person of interest in the Buchanan case, and detectives say he has not been cooperative. However, without a body they say they couldn't go any further.

Sheriff McCoig says he has talked with Buchanan's family. Most of them are in West Virginia. He hopes they can come in and identify the clothing and boots found with the remains.

The sheriff says the skull is being looked at by the forensic dentist they work with and efforts are underway to get Buchanan's dental records.

A DNA comparison is also an option.

The University of Tennessee Forensic Anthropology Center and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation also sent staff to the scene.

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