A three-year-old boy who stumbled across a human SKULL while out walking with his dad has told how he found his grisly discovery “really cool”.
Little Charlie Ryan-Williams says he now wants to grow up to become an explorer or an archaeologist after he found the fragments of bone last Thursday morning (14/5).
The youngster had been on a walk with dad Jack, 35, when they made the grim discovery beside a footpath near Church Street in Southwell, Notts.
At first they thought they had uncovered some broken pottery but on closer inspection, they appeared to be fragments of bone so Jack called police.
Detectives rushed to the site within minutes and sealed off the area, which is near an ancient Anglo Saxon burial ground and Roman villa.
Preliminary investigations revealed the skull fragments are probably human but police do not believe any crime has recently been committed.
Charlie says he has now been out looking for more “bones and dinosaur teeth” following his exciting discovery.
He said: “I thought it was really cool.
“I’m an explorer now and I’ve been looking for more bones and dinosaur teeth.
“I’d like to be an archaeologist one day.”
Married dad-of-one Jack, of Southwell, told how he recognised the fragments as bone from his work as a veterinary nurse.
But he said police did not believe him at first when he phoned them to say he believed he had found human remains.
Jack added: “Charlie had his stick and was just bumping it along as we walked. He suddenly said: ‘That’s a really interesting stone.’
“I had a look and brushed some dirt off with a stick. At first I thought it was a bit of pottery.
“It had a slight curve to it and was roughly eight to ten centimetres in diameter with a colour of light brown and darker brown.
“I dug a little deeper and realised that it was bone – it was on the surface and there were pieces just below.
“I thought it was a skull because I’m a veterinary nurse and I know animal bones.
“I realised this piece was part of a bigger curve and if the curve carried on it would be part of a human skull.
“I could see it is the crest which separates the two parts of the brain. Then I knew I should call the police.
“They didn’t believe me when I said it was a human skull – they must get people all the time who think they’ve found one when it’s actually animal.
“But I said I’m sure because I work in veterinary and they came in about ten minutes.
“Charlie covered the bits in leaves and branches while we waited.
“It was a bit of a shock to find it because you wouldn’t expect to find something like that out walking.
“But it wasn’t disturbing because I could tell it was really old and there weren’t bits of flesh or hair on it.
“It could be incredibly old because it’s close to an Anglo-Saxon burial ground where they found stuff when it was dug up in the fifties and sixties.
“It was certainly a surprising thing for us to find, but his mum was in for more of a surprise when – before I could explain more about how old the remains were – my son told her all about the human skull we had found.”
Forensics officers bagged up the remains and took them away before confirming they were human the next day.
Jack said he doesn’t know if the Nottinghamshire county archaeologist will go to the expense of now dating the discovery.
He added: “Once the forensic officer came he waited for his partner and they bagged the bits up and carried them away.
“They confirmed a day later it was a human skull, but nothing suspicious.
“I don’t know if they are going to date it because it would be very expensive to do. It’s ancient history.
“We haven’t found any bones since but we’ve kept exploring on our walks, looking for wildlife in woods and streams.
“Charlie was really excited by it and has been even more excited this week.
“He’s been looking for stuff in the back garden, finding what he thinks are bones and dinosaur teeth.”
Sergeant Andy Lee, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Whilst we don’t believe that a crime has been committed (at least for a very long time) Mr Ryan-Williams was absolutely right to report this to us.
“Any discovery of human remains is taken extremely seriously and a proper investigation carried out, even where we don’t believe an offence has been committed.”