Almanac

News - July 13, 2011

Partial human skull found in Ladera

• Coroner's office says it is the remains of a Native American.

by Dave Boyce

Deputies from the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office were called to Ladera on Friday, July 1, after a worker discovered what turned out to be a human skull while digging a trench near a swimming pool in the 100 block of Aliso Way, according to a Sheriff's Office report.

The deputies on the scene called in staff from the county coroner's office, who took the skull and analyzed it. Senior Deputy Coroner Michelle Rippy told the Almanac that the skull is the remains of a Native American male. She did not have information on the age of the man or when he died, but she said that there will be further investigation.

The facial area of the skull was missing, Lt. Ray Lunny of the Sheriff's Office said. The police report is silent as to whether other bones were found in the vicinity, Lt. Lunny added.

The Almanac asked for a comment from George Mader, a Ladera resident, a consultant to the Planning Department of Portola Valley, and someone with experience in dealing with such discoveries in the context of a proposed building project.

"It's relatively close to a creek, where you would expect to find Indian encampments, so that isn't too surprising," Mr. Mader said.

Los Trancos Creek flows past Ladera along the south side of Alpine Road and is the only major creek in the area, said Paul Heiple of the Portola Valley Conservation Committee.

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