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Dogs find human bones in Moore County

Posted May 15, 2008

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— Two dogs have brought home dug up what authorities believe are parts of a human skeleton, and authorities are trying to determine if the bones belong to a missing woman.

Shirley Cagle said her dogs, Thelma and Willie James, fetch everything in the Moore County woods near her home, from sticks to squirrels and rabbits. But last week they brought home some bones that she said she never expected.

Cagle said she saw a skull at the base of a tree and thought it belonged to a dead animal. One of her daughters, who is a nurse, said she thought the skull was human, so she called 911 for a deputy to investigate.

"He looked at me and said, 'Ms. Cagle, that's a skull,'" she said. "I said, 'Oh, my God!' I just went to pieces."

Her nephew, Leon Cagle, said his dog, Rocky, usually drops bones and other items it finds at a spot across Community Road from the family's mobile home. He saw a bone there a few weeks ago.

“I was picking up trash in the yard, and I looked at it," he said. "I noticed it looked odd, but I didn’t think much about it.”

After the skull was determined to be human, he took the bone to the Moore County Sheriff's Office, where deputies said it was a femur, or human thigh bone.

Investigators sent the bones to a medical examiner to determine if they belong to Dakota Blue, a 47-year-old woman who disappeared in February from her mobile home off N.C. Highway 705. Blue's home was about a mile from the Cagles' homes.

Investigators said they suspect foul play in Blue's disappearance.

Detectives have been searching the area near the Cagles' home for more remains.

The Cagles helped search for Blue after her disappearance, and Shirley Cagle said the whole episode is disturbing.

"Every day it's on my mind – every day. How can you get something like that off your mind?" she said.

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