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New homeowners find human half-skull in Trenton fire pit

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Trenton — After the discovery of suspected human remains in a Trenton fire pit Monday night, investigators are looking into the associates of a slain former homeowner to see who has been reported missing.

The Trenton Police Department got a 911 call from a home on the 5500 block of Wilson, north of Vreeland, east of Fort, around 6 p.m. Monday.

Police are investigating a human half-skull found Monday in a fire pit in a Trenton backyard. The new homeowners reported their discovery to police.

The homeowners, who recently had purchased the property, found "half of a human skull, and bone fragments" in a fire pit, said Todd Scheffler, Trenton's chief of police.

Police called detectives to the scene, and the department has requested the assistance of he Michigan State Police crime lab. State police returned to the scene Tuesday.

Mark Eberly

The Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office took possession of the remains and will work with police to identify them.

The home on Wilson, Scheffler noted, was formerly owned by Mark Eberly, who was killed in a shootout late last month with a Tennessee police officer who was trying to conduct a welfare check on him. The News-Herald reported Eberly's death.

Trenton police were called to the home on Wilson in January to conduct a welfare check, Scheffler said, but "nothing came of it."

New buyers of a house on Wilson in Trenton called police to report finding half a skull.

There haven't been any other 911 calls related to the home, police said.

"This is obviously troublesome," Scheffler said.

"We've got some suspicions," he added. "We're looking into some people he knew, who maybe haven't been heard from in a while."

Trenton detectives will be reaching out to their counterparts in Tennessee to learn more about Eberly's activities, Scheffler said.

Sarah Krebs, founder of Missing in Michigan, a nonprofit that helps families of missing persons navigate the process of searching for and finding loved ones, said it could take months for the remains to be identified.

"Skeletal remains are tough, and they've been compromised by fire," said Krebs, a Michigan State Police lieutenant who used to work in missing persons. "It could take six months for DNA to come back, and that wait is very hard on a family."