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UPDATE: Likely Native American remains found in Atascadero possible Salinan Tribe burial

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Posted at 6:27 PM, Feb 10, 2021

We're learning some new information about the human remains found at a home in Atascadero on Tuesday.

According to Atascadero police, an anthropologist said they were likely Native American human remains.

It's possible they're remains from the Salinan Tribe. This hasn't been officially determined yet but the tribe tells KSBY it's been notified of burials in the area before.

The Salinan people used to live along the Salinas River. The tribe says the human remains that were found at a home on Acacia Road are probably those of a Salinan burial.

"I'd say in the whole county, it happens a lot, more often than you think," said Patti Dunton, Salinan Tribe Tribal Administrator.

Dunton says roughly two to four times a year Native American remains are found.

The area where the most recent remains were unearthed during a home construction project is part of the former villageside of Asuncion which stretches from almost Santa Margarita to Templeton.

"And in that area of Atascadero, that was actually the area where the old bridge was that you had to cross. In the 1800's, that was the only bridge to cross the Salinas River to get to the other side so I wasn't too surprised it was there."

Once the coroner determines they're Native American remains, Dunton says the Coroner has 48 hours to contact the California Native American Heritage Commission. The Heritage Commission then contacts the tribe the remains could be associated with.

"And we'll go and contact, and go meet with the property owner and decide what to do with the human remains," Dunton said.

She adds the remains could be anywhere in between 300 to 1,000 years old.

The Tribe says they have a contract with the Atascadero Cemetery where they do reburials.

Atascadero police say other objects were also found at the site.

We reached out to the Native American Heritage Commission for comment but we have not yet heard back.