Sonoma County Sheriff's investigators spent Monday gathering evidence in Shiloh Ranch Park near Windsor, where skeletal remains were discovered by a hiker the afternoon before.
A skull, other bones and a shoe were found in an isolated area near a trail by a man walking with his kids through the park Sunday.
After investigating the man’s report, responding officers discovered more remains but had to postpone the investigation until the next day because night had fallen.
Sheriff's investigators told KTVU on Monday that they didn't know the person's approximate age or gender.
Crime scene technicians were working with the coroner Monday to excavate the remains while the department's Violent Crimes unit was also involved in the investigation.
A Sheriff's Sergeant said it's unclear how the person died or if foul play was involved, but the discovery is suspicious.
“We'll assume the worst until we can prove otherwise,” said Sonoma County Sheriff's Sergeant Brad Burke.
The coroner was expected to try to identify the person through dental records or using D.N.A., while detectives were combing through missing persons reports to see if anything matches.
Santa Cruz County sheriff's deputies were working Monday to confirm the identity of a person whose badly burned body was found inside an Aptos home that caught fire near state Highway 1 early Saturday morning, according to a deputy.
At about 12:20 a.m. Saturday, the Aptos-La Selva Fire Protection District responded to a call about a fire at a three-story home in the 9700 block of Monroe Avenue, near the Rio Del Mar Boulevard exit on Highway 1.
The flames were coming from the third floor of the home, which stands against a hillside, and firefighters were not able to climb to the top to reach the room, fire Division Chief Mike Conrad said.
Firefighters were able to access the first two floors, however, and two people living in the home escaped to the driveway below, Conrad said.
After dousing the two-alarm blaze, firefighters discovered the severely burned body on the home's top floor, Conrad said.
No one else was injured, he said.
The fire district is investigating the cause of the fire, which started on the third floor, but crews cannot yet go into the home yet because it is too unstable, Conrad said.
“There is nothing to indicate there was anything suspicious, but we can't be sure until we can get inside the building,” said Conrad.
Some neighbors told firefighters that the victim might have been the owner of the home, he said.
The 85-year-old U.S. veteran who was detained for weeks by North Korea said Monday that the videotaped confession in which he apologized for killing North Koreans during the war was given involuntarily and under duress.
In a written statement issued Monday, Merrill Newman, of Palo Alto, Calif., said he tried to show that the words he read on the recording were not his own by emphasizing the apology's awkward phrasing and poor English grammar.
"Anyone who has read the text of it or who has seen the video of me reading it knows that the words were not mine and were not delivered voluntarily," Newman said. "Anyone who knows me knows that I could not have done the things they had me 'confess' to."
The former Army lieutenant said that while the North Koreans treated him well during his detention at a Pyongyang hotel, an interrogator told him repeatedly that if he did not apologize for his alleged crimes during the Korean War and during his visit to the communist nation, he would be sentenced to 15 years in jail for espionage.
"Under these circumstances, I read the document with the language they insisted on because it seemed to be the only way I might get home," he said.
Newman, who was deported Friday and returned home to California on Saturday, was detained in late October at the end of a 10-day trip to North Korea. His visit that came six decades after he oversaw a group of South Korean wartime guerrillas during the 1950-53 war. He was scheduled to visit South Korea following his North Korea trip to meet some of the former fighters he had helped train.
Before he arrived in North Korea, Newman said he requested and was given permission to visit the region where he spent his war years advising the clandestine Kuwol fighters. Once he got to Pyongyang, "I innocently asked my North Korean guides whether some of those who fought in the war in the Mt. Kuwol area might still be alive, and expressed an interest in possibly meeting them if they were.
"The North Koreans seem to have misinterpreted my curiosity as something more sinister," Newman said in his statement. "It is now clear to me the North Koreans still feel much more anger about the war than I realized. With the benefit of hindsight I should have been more sensitive to that."
Newman's full statement is below:
Over the past two days, I've been able to reunite with my wonderful family, rest, and try to recover from the difficult ordeal that began when I was prevented from leaving North Korea on October 26th. I can't begin to tell you how good it is to be home, to be free, and to begin to resume my normal home life.
Let me repeat my thanks to the U.S. State Department for the amazing job they did in getting me out of North Korea and bringing me home safely. I want to thank Vice President Biden, who called me in Beijing to wish me well and even offered to give me a lift back to the United States on his plane. Thanks also to the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang for their great work, especially their visit to me and their help in ensuring that I had the medicine I needed.
Let me also express deep appreciation to friends, family, members of the First Congregational Church, wonderful people of faith and from all walks of life, residents and staff of our home at Channing House, and Members of Congress for their prayers, vigils, hard work, and moral support on my behalf. I want to single out Evans Revere for his extraordinary help.
It wasn't until I got home on Saturday that I realized what a story I had become in the press here. During my detention I had no access to any outside news, and wondered whether anyone was even aware of my situation. I am sorry I caused so many people so much heartache back home.
Looking at the television and newspaper reports, I've seen a lot of speculation about why I was detained. I've given considerable thought to this and have come to the conclusion that I just didn't understand that, for the North Korean regime, the Korean War isn't over and that even innocent remarks about the war can cause big problems if you are a foreigner.
I'm a Korean War veteran and I'm proud of my military service, when I helped train Korean partisans. The North Koreans still harbor resentment about those partisans from the Mt. Kuwol area and what other anti-Communist guerrillas did in North Korea before and during the war.
The shooting stopped sixty years ago, and the North Koreans have allowed other American veterans of the war to visit. Moreover, I did not hide my own military service from the tour company that organized my trip. Therefore, I did not think this history would be a problem. Indeed, in my application for a tourist visa, I specifically requested permission to visit the Mt. Kuwol area. That request was approved and was on the official itinerary when I arrived, although after I got to Pyongyang, I was told that the bridge had been washed out by a flood and it would not be possible to do so.
Before they told me this, I innocently asked my North Korean guides whether some of those who fought in the war in the Mt. Kuwol area might still be alive, and expressed an interest in possibly meeting them if they were. The North Koreans seem to have misinterpreted my curiosity as something more sinister. It is now clear to me the North Koreans still feel much more anger about the war than I realized. With the benefit of hindsight I should have been more sensitive to that.
I've also seen a lot of reports about the "confession" I made in North Korea. Anyone who has read the text of it or who has seen the video of me reading it knows that the words were not mine and were not delivered voluntarily. Anyone who knows me knows that I could not have done the things they had me "confess" to. To demonstrate that I was reading the document under some duress, I did my best to read the "confession" in a way that emphasized the bad grammar and strange language that the North Koreans had crafted for me to say. I hope that came across to all who saw the video.
Getting the "confession" and my "apology" were important to the North Koreans. Although the North Koreans treated me well during my detention (they looked after my health and fed me well), I was constantly under guard in my hotel and my interrogator made it clear that if I did not cooperate I could be sentenced to jail for espionage for 15 years. In fact, the North Korean interrogator repeatedly made the following statement to me: "If you do not tell the full truth, in detail, and apologize fully, you will not be able to return to your home country. If you do tell the full truth, in detail, and apologize fully, you will be able to return to your home country — someday." Under these circumstances, I read the document with the language they insisted on because it seemed to be the only way I might get home.
In the coming days, as I recover my strength I plan to share more details about my experience in North Korea. I know there is a lot of interest in this and I'll do my best to answer as many questions as I can. We also ask that you not forget that another American, Kenneth Bae, is being held in the DPRK and we hope that he, too, will be allowed to rejoin his family. For now, let me finish by saying again how great it is to be back home, safe, and with my loved ones.
Researchers in Australia claim to have found a treasure trove of freshwater beneath the ocean floor.
The findings were first revealed in the scientific journal Nature Thursday. The authors of the study say there's "mounting evidence" freshwater could be found globally.
The study, led by a scientist from Flinders University, says these reserves were formed hundreds of thousands of years ago. The water filtered through the ground before it ended up being covered by ocean water.
So just how much freshwater do scientists think we have under the sea?
The International Business Times reports scientists estimate there are 120,000 cubic miles of freshwater under the sea floor near places like Australia, North America, South Africa and China. The study's lead author says it's more than all the underground freshwater used since 1900.
And Gizmodo adds it's more than 20 times the amount of all the water in the five Great Lakes.
So if we potentially have all that extra water we didn't know was there, what should we do with it?
Scientists say if we want to use it for drinking purposes, the only ways to get it are by drilling on land or offshore. They're careful to warn drilling can be expensive and the supply would be non-renewable. (Via Voice of America)
But Forbes points out it might be a price some countries are willing to pay. The U.N. projects about half the world's population could be under so-called "water stress" by 2030.
See more at: Newsy.com
California Water officials on Monday released a draft of a $24.7 billion plan to restore the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, in part by building two 30-mile underground tunnels to ensure stable water delivery to millions of Californians.
The joint federal and state Bay Delta Conservation Plan, or BDCP, and environmental impact analysis comes after seven years of study, and includes plans for building the tunnels and completing significant habitat restoration work to improve the delivery of mountain snowmelt to Central Valley farms and cities throughout the state.
At the heart of the 50-year plan are the twin tunnels with a 9,000-cubic-feet-per-second capacity that would replace the delta's current pumping system that endangers fish and other wildlife.
Currently, the State Water Project and Central Valley Project pump water from the delta to 25 million people and three million acres of farmland.
But that supply has been interrupted in recent years, as salmon and smelt numbers declined in delta rivers, and federal regulators limited the amount of water that could be pumped from the delta.
Water officials believe that replacing the pumps with the tunnels and restoring more than 100,000 acres of new habitat above ground will help the fish rebound and keep the water flowing to customers.
The plan also outlines how officials would conduct research and implement monitoring during and after construction of the tunnels to study the project's effect on dozens of plant and animal species.
State water officials also say the ambitious project would generate billions of dollars in jobs, especially in construction, in the delta region.
The release kicks off 120 days of public comment on the plan and environmental analysis.
"By meeting the state's dual goals ... of ecosystem restoration and water supply reliability, we will stabilize and secure against catastrophe the water deliveries that sustain our homes, jobs, and farms, and do so in a way that not only protects but enhances the environment," said John Laird, California's natural resources secretary.
But critics of the plan say it would actually harm fish and agriculture by siphoning off more water from the estuary.
Dozens of conservation groups including the Sierra Club have been steadfast in their opposition, saying the project would ship more water from the delta south and create more environmental problems.
Conservationists say modern developments in water conservation and recycling can be used to reduce demand from southern California, and would be far more environmentally friendly than the tunnel project.
"We need a better plan for restoring the delta environment and making sure Californians all over the state get the water they need," Kathryn Phillips, director of Sierra Club California, said in a statement.