Hikers Find Human Skull on Texas Trail

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Two hikers in Austin, Texas, discovered the remains during a morning hike on Saturday.

Authorities have confirmed that the skull found by two New Jersey hikers on March 5 is human. But experts have yet to determine the identity of the person. Information regarding the approximate age of the remains and cause of death was not publicly available at the time of writing.

One of the hikers came across the desiccated skull in a glade along the Violet Crown Trail in Southwest Austin, according to CBS Austin. The Austin Police Department (APD) stated that the scene is in the 4900 block of West U.S. Highway 290, one of the city’s primary arteries for traffic.

Notably, the Violet Crown Trail is relatively new — most of the 13-mile route was finalized in 2015. The location of Saturday’s incident exists along an even more recently completed 6-mile section of the trail, which was opened to public access in February 2019.

In a call with the APD, authorities informed GearJunkie that the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office and homicide team will be involved in the ongoing investigation.

GearJunkie will provide updates on this story as more information becomes available.

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Jilli Cluff


Jilli grew up in the rural southern Colorado mountains, later moving to Texas for college. After seven years in corporate consulting, she was introduced to sport climbing.
In 2020, Jilli left her corporate position to pursue an outdoor-oriented life. She now works as a contributor, gear tester, and editor for GearJunkie and other outlets within the AllGear network.
She is based out of Austin, Texas, where she takes up residence with her climbing gear and one-eared blue heeler, George Michael.

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