Police: Child's severed head found on Navajo reservation

Police found the remains of an infant on Navajo Nation land in northeast Arizona.

GANADO, Ariz. - Navajo Nation police and the Federal Bureau of Investigations were out on a Northern Arizona property Monday investigating a call about the partial remains of an infant.

The next-door neighbor, Amber Wauneka, said she saw fire crews there too. They told her the family's pets made the discovery.

“It was just mentioned that, you know, they had come to find a, the skull of a small child. We didn't know if it was an infant, we didn't know if it was a toddler, you know? All we heard, that the dogs had brought it to the home," Wauneka said. "It's sad to stumble upon something so close, you know? We read about this all over the United States, but it's never, ever really been a reality here." 

Wauneka said she helped detectives comb through the area and that they asked her whether there was a burial site nearby. She had lived there for 45 years and said she did not know of one.

In an email Thursday afternoon, the FBI said the investigation was ongoing as they tried to determine how the baby died.

The Gallup (New Mexico) Independent reports that Navajo Police Chief Phillip Francisco said a child's severed head was found Monday in a field near Ganado.

Francisco told the newspaper the FBI is investigating and he didn't have additional details.

Francisco's office says he's unavailable for comment Thursday because of the funeral of a Navajo Nation police officer killed on duty.

The FBI told The Associated Press in a brief statement Thursday that "partial remains of an infant child" were found in the Ganado area.

FBI spokeswoman Jill McCabe said no additional information is available.

The FBI previously told the Independent that authorities had information they hoped would lead to "a rapid resolution to the investigation."

The Associated Press also contributed to this report.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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