Police are currently investigating a case of old human remains that were discovered buried near a beach in Lata, Temotu Province in May this year.
Police Commissioner Matthew Varley revealed to reporters on Thursday that their inquiries have led them to a theory that this may relate to a missing person case dating back to 2017 on Santa Cruz.
“I need to stress that this is one avenue of inquiry that we are currently investigating and we are unable to verify that these human remains are in fact any particular person at the moment,” Mr Varley said.
The police chief said a team of investigators from the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) serious squad and forensic unit are currently in Temotu Province.
He said on May 31, a group of young children seemed to have discovered some bones when they were digging near a beach in the area of Lata.
“….and some of the Luova community members assisted Lata police to take some photographs and to recover what appears to be some human bones from a beach side grave around 20 centimetres in depth.
“It was around 20 meters or 30 meters away from the shoreline and of course our Lata police have been investigating that for a little while now,” he said.
Mr Varley added that the purpose of their inquiry is to send a team of forensic and serious crime officers down to Lata to investigate and analyse the bones that were recovered.
He said they will obtain DNA samples from the bones which may be able to be compared against samples obtained from relatives of the missing person.
“It is too early for us to speculate on whether this theory will pan out but it is important for people to know that investigation is ongoing.
“And this goes to show the very good capability that we have been able to prepare and to develop in terms of our forensic capability in the RSIPF,” he said.
The police chief added that some of the DNA analysis may well need the assistance of their partners from overseas particularly in Australia.
“We will be working very closely on that but our officers are well trained in DNA collection techniques and will be able to take up that particular process.
“So we want to appeal to the community down there to remain calm, to assist police with our inquiry,” Mr Varley said.
He also appealed to anyone in Temotu Province especially on Santa Cruz Island who may have any information in relation to this case to come forward and assist police with their investigation.
These are information on the discovery of the human bones or any information in relation to missing persons in the area.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN