High school freshman finds bones in New Madrid County field

14-year-old Nathaniel Whitlock loves the great outdoors. He is quite the treasure hunter too.

"Sometimes we walk the fields, and see what kind of cool stuff we can find," said Whitlock.

Last week he set out searching for treasure in a field outside Tallapoosa in New Madrid County.

"Stuff is scattered all over the place," Whitlock.

He found a number of things, perfect he thought to show his teacher.

"We were going over forensics," said Whitlock.

Sherry Duffer teaches science in Gideon, MO. "I'm used to students bringing in things. This week alone I had three snakes, a couple of turtles, and a mouse," said Duffer.

Last Friday, Nathaniel Whitlock brought in bone fragments.

Teacher Sherry Duffer thought it was interesting, but had one thing she wanted to do first.

"We needed to contact police, and make sure it wasn't a crime scene," said Duffer.

New Madrid County Sheriff Terry Stevens starting doing some digging of his own.

"Done some testing through a local veterinarian," said Sheriff Stevens.

Stevens believes they are mostly animal bones, and artifacts.

He says one piece appeared to be from a skull which may be human, but could also be buffalo remains.

"What we have is really old may be something that has been there numerous years," said Stevens.

He says no criminal investigation is needed.

"We feel certain it is some type of Indian burial grounds, or something along that line," said Stevens.

The possibility of that is even more fascinating to Nathaniel Whitlock.

"It's pretty cool."

Sheriff Stevens says pre-historic fossils have been found in New Madrid County.

"There's a lot out there we aren't aware of," said Stevens.

No word on who owns the land where the artifacts and bones were found.

Teacher Sherry Duffer plans to find out more by possibly contacting an archaeologist.

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