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Human remains recovered from pipe under 55 Freeway in Costa Mesa

COSTA MESA — Authorities Wednesday recovered human remains from a blocked pipe at the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway at Baker Street in Costa Mesa.

Caltrans and California Highway Patrol officials became aware of the blockage Monday and requested that members of the Coroner Division of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department be on hand when the pipe was flushed, according to Sgt. Scott Steinle of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Work on clearing the obstruction began at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Steinle said. A Caltrans crew inspecting a culvert with a robotic camera spotted what appeared to be a skeleton at about 9:30 a.m., according to CHP Officer Anselmo Templado.

A member of the Coroner Division and a Caltrans supervisor came up with a plan to recover the remains by flushing the pipe with water, but they ran into a problem with debris stuck in the pipe, Templado said. A vacuum was used to suck out the debris, Templado said.

Authorities recovered the remains by Wednesday night, and preliminary assessments indicated there was no evidence of any foul play, Templado said.

The person’s identity has not been established.

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