Washington D.C. — Near a Washington, D.C. apartment building, skeletal remains of three women have been found in or under renovation, officials said.
The remains of one woman were discovered inside a crawl space and the other two were in a shallow grave nearby.
The first woman was discovered by construction workers digging in the lower level of a three-story brick apartment building in Congress Heights in southeast Washington last Wednesday.
Adan Escobar, one of the construction workers who found the remains, said they first thought the bones were from an animal until someone spotted the skull and jawbone.
“But when he saw the skull and the jaw, he figured it was a person,” he said, according to the Washington Post.
After police were notified, investigators searched the rest of the building and a nearby wooded area. Cadaver dogs found two additional sets of remains – both female – on Saturday in a shallow grave.
D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham told reporters on Monday that the two sets of humans remain in the wooded area are suspicious and homicide detectives are involved in the investigation.
He said the bones appear to be “very dated,” the Washington Post reported.
LaShon Beamon, communications director for the district’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, told reporters the medical examiner will try to identify the remains, their ages, and causes of death.
“The victims have likely been dead for more than a year”, the chief medical examiner told reporters. He said his office was able to determine all three were female by looking at the pelvis.
“The cause and manner of death are still outstanding,” Mitchell said. “We are still looking for injury and disease.”
Police and judicial investigators continued to search for any other possible remains on Monday.