Man describes moment he found remains in BBQ pit in SE Houston: 'I never thought I'd see a skull'

Erica Simon Image
Friday, July 15, 2022
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A man hired to spruce up a backyard found bones stuffed into a BBQ pit. As the mystery remains on who the person is, the man spoke exclusively with ABC13 about the discovery.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Police are trying to put the pieces together on a human remains case in southeast Houston.

Investigators say it could take several weeks before they are able to get an official identification of the human remains found inside a barbecue pit.

Earlier this week, ABC13 reported that a worker hired to clean up a backyard on Peach Creek Drive found what appeared to be human bones stuffed into the grill.

SEE ALSO: Man working in backyard finds burned remains in BBQ pit, police say

"I (saw) something sticking out. I opened it up, and there was a body in there," Joe, the man who made the discovery, said.

Joe has been doing landscaping work for nearly 15 years. He's seen a lot of strange things, including a foot in a trash can in Crosby years ago, but what he saw on July 12 blew his mind.

"I never thought I'd see a skull or human remains," he said. "(A) buddy of mine opened it first, then he shut it down and said, 'Man, there's a body in there.' I said, 'What?' He said, 'There's a body. It's probably a prop,' he said. I looked in there and said, 'No, that's not (a) prop. We got to get out of here.'"

Joe and another guy were hired to clean up some metal and tidy up a backyard at the home. Joe didn't wait around to ask any questions but said the brick grill was about five by four feet long and there didn't appear to be any flesh left on the bones.

The gruesome discovery has left neighbors feeling a bit uneasy.

"It's pretty crazy because it's so close to home. Hopefully, they find out what happened and who it was," neighbor Christin Lara said.

We knocked on the door of the house where the bones were found, but no one answered. ABC13 reporter Brooke Taylor made contact with the home's registered owner on July 13, but the woman didn't have anything to say. The woman also noted she wasn't too concerned about the situation.

Joe, however, is concerned saying that if he had to, he would do the right thing all over again, and call in what he saw.

"It's somebody's family. Somebody's son. Somebody's daughter. Somebody, you know? And thing is, it's barely getting discovered. It's been there for a while ... It's like a lost soul out there and no one finding it until now," he said.

The medical examiner's office told ABC13 they don't have a timetable on when the bones will be identified, but as of Thursday, they aren't even close. The identification process takes even longer when there are only skeletal remains and no flesh.

Police are not sure how long the remains were in the grill and no arrests have been made. Anyone with information Is urged to call HPD Homicide at (713) 308-3600.

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