The discovery was made in the rubble of an abandoned, burned-out house in western Harnett County near Spout Springs. The boys said the bones were found in the collapsed ceiling of the house.
"It kind of freaked me out. How often is it that you find a dead person around your house?" said Jacob Campbell. "I thought it was a fake skeleton that someone threw up there, but then I got to looking at it, and I saw it was actually a real skeleton, so I went and got my mom."
Campbell's mother called authorities.
The Harnett County Sheriff's Office said the house, which is located near the intersection of Highway 24 and Calvin Road in the Johnsonville community, was burned in December 2003. The house had been vacant for several years before it was burned, deputies said.
It is not known how long the skeleton had been there or whether foul play was involved. The Harnett County Sheriff's Office and the Harnett County Fire Marshal's Office are investigating the discovery.