- Associated Press - Thursday, January 23, 2014

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - A Marion County sheriff’s officer says two human skulls found in a cardboard box at a recycling center belonged to a now-deceased Oregon man whose relatives say he obtained them while prospecting for gold in the Philippines decades ago.

Sgt. Chris Baldridge said Thursday that Frank Shriver’s relatives knew about the skulls but say they were never on display and no one knew exactly how or why Shriver obtained them. Family members say Shriver was in the Philippines just prior to the Japanese invasion of World War II.

The North Bend man died in 1991 and the skulls passed to a son who lived in Salem. After his death, Baldridge says they were accidentally thrown out and ended up Jan. 16 at a county recycling center in Brooks. Staffers there quickly called the sheriff’s office and the Oregon state medical examiner’s office.

Baldridge says the skulls will be studied by a forensic anthropologist in Portland. After that, they will either be cremated or stored at the state medical examiner’s office.

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