Authorities in Jackson County are investigating the discovery of human remains in Cashiers. The Sheriff’s Office is trying to determine whether the body is that of a man who was reported missing last winter.
On Feb. 21, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office received a report of possible human remains discovered in the Mill Creek area of Glenville. The call came in at approximately 12:33 p.m. by Sallie Clawson, who advised that a human skeleton was found in the yard of 2396 Mill Creek Road, according to initial dispatch reports.
Clawson said in the report that the residence is a summer home, and that nobody has been seen there recently. She also said in her initial 9-1-1 call that she thinks the remains may have belonged to that of Ruben Valenzuela Salinas, who was reported missing on Dec. 16 of last year.
Captain Steve Lillard, of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office confirmed officers are investigating the possible connection between the human remains and Salinas’ disappearance. Investigators are awaiting results from forensic evidence at the scene.
The scene was investigated by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, with the assistance of the Medical Examiner’s Office of Medwest Harris Hospital and the Glenville/Cashiers Rescue Squad. The remains were inspected by the Medical Examiner and then removed from that location to be sent to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem for further examination and identification.
Salinas’ vehicle had reportedly been seen in that community about two weeks prior to the missing persons report being filed. “A comparison between these two incidents will be a priority in the identification process, according to authorities,” Lillard said.
At this time, the Medical Examiner’s office said that autopsy findings cannot be released until the investigation has been completed. Investigators have not been able to comment on the status of the investigation.
Anyone with information pertaining to this case is urged to contact the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office at (828)586-8901.