Investigation underway after bones found at West Ocean City beach

Bones on beach

Officials say the search for a suitcase containing burned bones has been called off on Tuesday evening in Ocean City.

 According to the Worcester County Sheriff's office, the search for the submerged suitcase discovered earlier today at Homer Gudelsky Park, a.k.a. Stinky Beach, has been called off due to tide and loss of light.

The Sheriff's office says they will resume the search Wednesday morning. 

6:08 PM –What started as a normal day at the beach Tuesday, quickly turned into something else entirely for one family after they discovered burned bones in a submerged suitcase.

Michelle Link, a longtime visitor of Homer Gudelsky Park, also known as Stinky Beach, said, "I've never heard of anything like this happening on this little beach, and I've been coming here for 20 years."

Around 9:30 AM Tuesday, police say an Ellicott City family was swimming at Stinky Beach when they stumbled across a deteriorated suitcase in the water. 

Lt. Ed Shreier said, "So they opened it up and they started finding some personal effects in there like shoes and some other items that would appear to be bones, these objects appear to be burned."

After finding the bones, the family called police.

The Worcester County Sheriff's Office was the first to respond. They immediately took photos of the bones for evidence and called a medical examiner.

Lt. Shreier said, "We have to determine whether or not these are human bones, and what else may be in that trunk or the suitcase that is out there, I would classify it more like a trunk. As soon as we can get it out, we'll be able to proceed further in our investigation and see what we have here."

The Sheriff's office called a dive team out to the scene so they could get the suitcase out of the water without damaging it to preserve any potential evidence.

Lt. Shreier said, "The Maryland State Police dive team is going to be en route to help take this out of water and preserve the evidence that's in it, and interpret whether or not we have a crime or it's just discarded property."

It took the dive team longer than expected, due to high tide. As of 6 PM Tuesday, they were still searching for the suitcase.

Link said, "It's just disturbing that something like that happened here, especially when you have little kids running around, I wouldn't want them to come across something like that."

Lt. Shreier told 47ABC the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation will be launching into an investigation to determine why the suitcase was at the beach, who it belonged to and what it's contents are.

If these bones are that of a human, police will identify the remains. 

Police tell 47ABC it could take a while to determine whether these bones belong to a human or an animal.  

We will update this story as more information becomes available.

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