TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - A call to the Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Tuesday afternoon drew officers and the county coroner to the scene of county roads 500 West and 500 South near West Point.
A caller reported a human hand on the side of the road, but after a little investigating, investigators believe it was not a hand, but perhaps a paw.
"The deputy coroner was called out, and they searched the area," DNR Consevation Officer Matt Tholen said. "They located a few different items, including a skull, that does not resemble a human, but may be a bear."
It is the start of bear-hunting season, but not in this area. As far as conservation officers are aware, bears are not indigenous to this area.
Tholen said a call like this is uncommon.
"This is the first time I've ever received a call about possible bear parts, or some kind of different animal that is not indigenous to Indiana," Tholen said.
Although it may be rare to see a bear around here, it is not out of the question a bear could be brought back to the area.
"It could've been brought in from out of state," Tholen said. "A hunter might have harvested it, and brought it back to Indiana. That is what we're possibly looking into."
Tholen said the possible paw does show some exposed flesh.
Right now, the parts remain at the county coroner's office. Pictures are being sent to a forensic pathologist at the University of Indianapolis.
When it comes to the investigation, officers still want to talk to the person who may have dropped the parts.
Conservation officers remind hunters, it is illegal to dump your hunted animals on public property, like the side of a road, without permission.
A Lafayette man charged with multiple bank robberies in Tippecanoe and Clinton Counties pleads guilty to a series of bank robberies in Illinois.
The drop in temperatures brings the potential for health dangers, such as hypothermia and frost bite. The bitter temperatures can pose a threat for children, adults and pets.
As it stands Wednesday, there will be no FEMA aid for tornado survivors in Howard County.