Human body parts found at newly bought Colorado home spur investigation

An autopsy confirmed a human head and hands were found at a newly bought home in western Colorado, but investigators said further testing is required to help establish the identity of the victim.

“These types of tests take a significant amount of time,” the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement after the severed body parts were examined Wednesday, adding: “Our hope is to positively identify the victim while remaining respectful of the victim and the victim’s family.”

The grisly discovery occurred last week in a quiet neighborhood near Grand Junction, west of Denver.

A sheriff’s office spokeswoman declined to confirm certain details Saturday, including where the body parts were discovered at the home.

A neighbor, Sam Troester, told NBC affiliate KUSA in Denver that the previous homeowners — an elderly mother and her son — had moved out on the morning of Jan. 12 and new owners showed up that same day to begin clearing the property. The homebuyers had posted online to invite people to collect scrap metal and take other materials left behind in the yard and garage, including a freezer, Troester said.

But when investigators in hazmat gear later arrived, Troester took cellphone video of the unusual scene across the street.