The Sanpete County sheriff said he believes recent bones found in the foothills east of Fairview belong to Debi Kent - one of several women Ted Bundy confessed to killing.
One of many bones searchers discovered last week has been identified as a human kneecap. Thursday, a "large number" of additional bones were found in the same area where the kneecap was found. Those bones have been turned over to the state medical examiner's office for analysis."We're pretty confident it's her, with the description Mr. Bundy gave," Sheriff Wallace Buchanan said Saturday. "It matches where (he) told us to go."
But Bountiful Police Chief Larry Higgins, who has been coordinating search efforts with Sanpete County, is less willing to express such optimism.
"We're not bone experts," he said. "We have no idea as to whether or not any of these bones are human or animal."
The kneecap and the additional yet-to-be-analyzed bones were recovered from a mile-long ravine about a mile up Fairview Canyon and to the north. The kneecap was found in the bottom of a wash on the surface, Higgins said. Searchers scoured the one-mile area for additional bones under the theory that the human bone could have been washed to the surface and moved from the original gravesite over the years.
"In 1983 and '84, there was a lot of water in that area," Higgins said.
The 17-year-old high school student disappeared from a parking lot at Bountiful's Viewmont High School on Nov. 8, 1974. During the week before he was executed, Bundy confessed to killing Kent and several other women. He told authorities he buried her body in an area near Fairview.
Both Buchanan and Higgins say the area where the bones have been found match the area that Bundy described.
Bones found during Thursday's search include what appear to be rib, foot and finger bones, Buchanan said. Although optimistic, the sheriff was quick to point out that the bones could belong to animals.
"We just don't know," he said. "Some of those (animal and human bones) look alike."
Other than the bones, Higgins said no additional clues or signs of Bundy's presence were found in the area that would lead searchers to a body. Officials will wait until they hear from the medical examiner on Tuesday or Wednesday before deciding what steps to take next.