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By Eric M. Johnson
SEATTLE (Reuters) - A 93-year-old Washington state man, whose dog returned home with a human leg it had found, buried it in his back yard on an Indian reservation to avoid being suspected of a crime, a local official and media reports said.
The dog found the unknown person's leg last week on the Nisqually Reservation, roughly 60 miles south of Seattle, Thurston County Sheriff's Office spokesman Tim Rudloff said late on Monday evening.
Bill Flowers picked up the leg brought home by his dog, Liberty, and thought of calling the police, he told KOMO-TV at the weekend. But fearing they would suspect him of foul play, he buried it in his backyard, where it remained for several days until he told his daughter, who urged him to call the police.
"I was afraid to call. I'm 93 years old. I didn't want to have to go to the pen for something I didn't do," Flowers told the television station.
Officials and volunteers working with search dogs found a rib cage, a pelvis and part of a skull, including a jawbone with teeth, as they combed the area on Sunday, Rubloff said, adding that authorities were working to identify the remains.
(Editing by Alistair Lyon)