Dog Finds Human Skull Near Home

Police are currently conducting an investigation after a dog in New Mexico uncovered a human skull near his owner's home.

The dog, a beagle, is from Gallup a small town about 140 miles west of Albuquerque, found the human skull near his owner's home and returned on Saturday with the skull in his mouth.

The dog's owner then notified the police, who took skull and are currently investigating the matter, Gallup's deputy police chief, John Allen, told

Police have already stated that the skull was believed to be from a man who was around 35 to 45 years old and estimated that the man had died about three years ago.

Investigators searched the area around where the dog had recovered the skull and revealed that they had recovered other bones which police believe are related to the skull, Allen said.

"It is a criminal investigation at this time and until we determine otherwise, or receive other information, we're going to continue along this path," Allen told AP.

"We're attempting to identify who this individual may be … we may possibly have a lead and we're looking into that right now."

John Yearley, a detective with the Gallup police department, explained that other dogs as well as coyotes have dug up human bones a few time in recent years, leading some of those instances to be investigated as homicide cases.

There were other bones discovered near where the skull was found, leading Yearly to speculate that the body had been buried.

When asked about the beagle, who are known for their strong sense of smell and history has rabbit hunters, Yearly said: "quite the rabbit hunter. How he switched off from rabbits to the skull, I don't know."

Gallup is a rural area that is home to around 20,000 people and borders a Navajo reservation.