Police: Remains behind San Juan house may be human

SAN JUAN — Police said Thursday morning that bones found behind a house may be human.

The bones found at 610 W. Citrus St. in San Juan on Wednesday may be human, but investigators have not confirmed their species of origin, Police Chief Juan Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said the bones "probably are" human, but further testing needs to be completed before authorities are certain.

"We're trying to confirm they're actually human," the chief said. "They probably are (human), but we're trying to date them."

Gonzalez said it would take "a couple of days" for investigators to confirm that the bones are human, or not. Until then, police are continuing to consider the investiation a possible homicide.

Investigators found the remains of several dogs Thursday morning in the house's back yard, as well.

A police badge found at the property belonged to a former Rio Grande City officer who has been located alive and well, Gonzalez said.

"He was pretty shaken up," Gonzalez said.

Investigators believe the residents at the house had been worshipping the Santa Muerte, or, Death Saint in Spanish, as well as Palo Maombe, a form of black magic that incorporates animal sacrifice.

"It's all mixed together," Gonzalez said.

The investigation at the house was launched by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms alongside Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Federal officials have not disclosed the scope of their investigation.

San Juan police launched its own investigation after the possible human remains were found at the property. A U.S. Border Patrol cadaver dog helped locate the remains, as well

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