Posted: Oct 4, 2012 4:28 PM by Melissa Anderson - MTN News
HELENA - At a joint press conference on Thursday morning, Powell County Sheriff Scott Howard and Lewis & Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton told reporters they are working together in the investigation of human remains found by travelers on MacDonald Pass last week.
They said the remains included a human skull and other remains not yet fully identified.
The remains are currently being processed for identification at the State Crime Lab in Missoula, which could take several weeks.
Sheriff Dutton did not rule out that the remains found could be those of Mike Crites, a Birdseye area man whose partial remains were discovered at a separate location on MacDonald Pass in October 2011.
It took until January 2012 to positively identify DNA from those bones, which were found deposited in plastic bags.
Crites was reported missing in late June 2011.
Sheriff's logs show that two warrants were issued on Wednesday morning for two residences near Crites' property on Turk Road.
While the sheriff wouldn't comment on the particulars of the warrants, he did say they are questioning people in their continuing murder investigation of Crites.
He also said that Connie Crites, the sister of Mike, has been notified of the recent findings.
Sheriff Howard said there are currently no open murder investigations in Powell County.
When asked if the legs found in the Butte area recently may be connected, he said it's unknown. However in a later statement he said that he believed these were two separate victims.
The skull and remains were found last Tuesday, September 26, by a couple who had stopped by the side of the dirt road near the Mullen Pass area near Highway 12 west, as they were walking their dogs.
The dogs found the remains between a creek bed and the road at around 6:46 p.m.
Both sheriffs said they want to erase any fear of serial killers in this investigation.
They are asking for the public's patience as they work through their investigation to try and develop evidence and possibly lead to arrests.
They say they are working diligently to put the pieces of the puzzle together to build a case that will hold up in court.