Police are searching for a suspect in the possible homicide of children after a cleaning crew found a mysterious box in a shed at a home in the Franklin to the Fort Neighborhood. Missoula Police Public information officer Travis Welsh says an investigation has been ongoing for the past three months.

“In late September, an officer was dispatched to the 2100 block of South 12th Street West, when he arrived he met with the complainant that presented to him a box that contained rocks and also pieces of bone,” Welsh said, “That initiated an investigation into the types of bones we were looking at.”

University of Montana Researchers and the Montana State Crime lab believe the bones are human and not that old.

“They appear to be sub-adult and, more specifically, they were identified to be the combined bones of three separate individuals all of the age of 10 or under,” Welsh said. “They are not whole skeletons, they are bone pieces: that would include loose teeth, so it’s not a complete skeleton… that would make it easier for us to do some of this work.”

The house was being cleaned after the eviction of tenants, who have been sought for questioning. Another man was illegally squatting on the property and is named in a search warrant related to the case. The search warrant reports that the squatter had gone so far as to set up a surveillance camera to monitor the property and alert him to visitors. The warrant issued gives detectives permission to search for more human remains, including biological matter, clothing, and “tools to dismember, bury or dispose of a human body.” Sgt. Welsh says there is a “person of interest” in the case, but that no arrests have been made.

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