Remains Found in New Mexico Had Ring Made in KonaMarch 12, 2012, 3:19 PM HST (Updated March 12, 2012, 3:21 PM)
A sheriff’s department in New Mexico is trying to identify human remains found in January that were accompanied by a piece of jewelry made on the Big Island.
The Grant County Sheriff’s Office issued a press release Sunday asking for the public’s help identifying the remains.
A single bone was found by a hiker Jan. 17 in the remote Gomez Peak area north of Silver City. Analysis of bones found through the help of cadaver dogs indicated they were from a man approximately six feet in height and weighing about 200 pounds. The remains indicated that the man had once had an injury to the right knee that had been surgically repaired with metal screws.
Jewelry found with the remains included a titanium ring made by Hawaii Titanium of Kailua-Kona. The maker’s mark was the inscription “Ti” inside the outline of the Big Island. The ring also was inlaid with koa wood and lapis.
After seeing a photograph of the ring, Jerry Guire, owner of Hawaii Titanium, said it was definitely made in his shop.
Guire, who said he has not been contacted by Grant County deputies, said he would compare the ring to his records to see if he could identify the buyer, but that might prove difficult.
If it was purchased recently, it would be listed on a sales log he began three years ago, he said. He said only about 30 rings of that style were sold during that time.
If the ring was acquired more than three years ago, determining the buyer could require a lengthy search through hand-written records, Guire said, adding that he would contact the sheriff’s office to see if more information on the ring was available, such as the size.
Guire said his shop’s customers include many Big Island residents in addition to visitors. He said it was also possible the ring was purchased at one of a dozen galleries selling his rings, all of which are in Hawaii except for one in Southern California.
Also found with the remains was a necklace made of green stone beads, possibly malachite.
Because of the condition of the remains, Grant County medical examiners were unable to determine when the man died, but it was believed to have occurred within the past year and possibly within several months of the time the remains were found, the press release said.
Anyone with information on the case can call the Grant County Sheriffs Office at 575-574-0100.