The kids stumbled upon the skeletal remains while exploring Rawson Island in Massachusetts on Aug. 23, according to authorities
A group of children from a summer camp made a startling discovery during a recent outing in Massachusetts.
The kids stumbled upon human skeletal remains while exploring Rawson Island in the Connecticut River near Greenfield and Montague on Aug. 23, the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office said, according to a statement obtained by PEOPLE.
The discovery was made around midday and afterwards an adult contacted local police, the office said.
"Investigators collected what they could that day," the statement read. "The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner was on the scene the following day to ensure recovery of all remains."
The local medical examiner is currently working on identifying the remains.
No further information was immediately available, although the matter remains under investigation by the Greenfield Police Department, Montague Police Department, State Police Crime Scene Services, the Special Emergency Response Team, and the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit.
"This is very much an open investigation,” Laurie Loisel, a spokesperson for the District Attorney's Office, told the Daily Hampshire Gazette.
Kurt Heidinger, executive director of Westhampton-based Biocitizen, an environmental philosophy program the children were taking part in, told the Gazette that a 7-year-old boy first spotted the bones.
The group — which included about two dozen students and staff members — had been investigating the low water level of the Connecticut River at the time.
“We were just doing what we always do, which is taking kids out during the summer just to explore,” Heidinger said.
Heidinger said he initially thought the remains belonged to a buck, but when a teacher and several children later returned to the site after a lunch break, they moved some sand on the ground and unearthed a skull.
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“I said, ‘Oh, my goodness, that is a human skull,’” he recounted, noting that the discovery quickly turned somber.
Heidinger told the newspaper the students have since created a small shrine near the Westfield River in Chesterfield in honor of the person whose remains they found.
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