Human Remains Discovery Protocol

Protocol to Follow When Finding Human Remains

  • When coming across discarded property, check for the presence of bones in the vicinity before physically touching and inspecting the discarded property.
  • When discovering the presence of bones in an area:  Please use the SPOT device to record the GPS location.  This will ensure that the location can be shared with the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office. 
  • Please treat the area as a crime scene.  At this point in time, it is supposition that it is a migrant.  Do not touch or remove the remains.  Do not look through property for phones, phone numbers, or IDs.  
  • Please call 911.  This begins the actual legal process of the remains being removed properly.  Please bear in mind that it might take the Pima County Sheriff’s Department or BP several hours to respond.  
  • Take photographs of the area.  Using a common object like a dollar bill or a ball point pen serves to give a perspective of the size of the bones.
  • Please do not call phone numbers or names of contacts that might be in plain view.  The human remains have not been legally identified at this point in time, and we don’t want to hinder the investigation.