We’re in the midst of a February thaw, and I was out under our new carport reacquainting myself with carpentry yesterday, building a pair of deluxe sawhorses to serve as a workbench since my old ones burned up in last summer’s fire. I could hear my daughter’s voice out back and down toward the river, calling the dog’s name in a fashion indicating some lack of obedience on his part, so I wandered back to apprise the situation.
They’d had their johnboat out on the Brazos, fishing, a couple of miles up river. His two girls had come along, but they were bored after a while and so my neighbor let them off at a big sandbar, which they explored until the older of the two found a large bone she assumed had once been part of a cow.
As she showed my neighbor, he recognized it as a human femur. They brought it back downriver with them, and he called the police.
In short order, several detective types from the sheriff’s office arrived, and drove right through my neighbor’s yard to the riverbank. They asked my neighbor to take them back to the sandbar. I have heard nothing of what transpired since.
The Brazos can be a dangerous river, rising quickly and quietly without warning if there’s been a big rain upstream, undercutting its own banks and sending the occasional avalanche into the water as a section of clay bank collapses, creating stretches of quicksand deep enough to drown in. People can be dangerous too, of course, and a few years ago when I last played news reporter, I found that murder victims once in a great while were thrown in.
So our kids and the neighbor kids now have a real mystery to chew over, with a plethora of possible solutions. I think, given the level of local forensic science and manpower available, and the cost of same, it’s better than even money that this one will go unsolved.
If not, you’ll be the second to know.