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Investigators find body at Pawnee Lake, Lancaster County sheriff says
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Investigators find body at Pawnee Lake, Lancaster County sheriff says

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Investigators discovered human remains Thursday morning near Pawnee Lake west of Lincoln, according to Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner. 

The remains were found at about 11:15 a.m. in a wooded area on the southwest side of the lake. Wagner said investigators were treating the area as a crime scene, but could not tell the age, sex or race of the body.

He would not say why investigators were searching the area, but said the body was "not visible to the human eye." 

Human remains found

Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner gives an update on human remains found at Pawnee Lake on Thursday.

He said it wasn't buried, but was partially covered. Wagner would not elaborate on whether there was clothing, brush or any other object concealing it.

When asked whether investigators had considered if the body might be that of 23-year-old Carly Schaaf, who has been missing since May 17 under what police have called suspicious circumstances, Wagner said "we're surely keeping that in mind."

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday afternoon.

Wagner wouldn't speculate as to how long the body had been there. He also said there were “no indications at all” of whether the body was either a child or an adult.

The crime scene is in a wooded area not far from a day-use picnic area. Some public areas of the lake and area roads were closed as the investigation continued.

The Lincoln Police Department is working jointly with the sheriff's office on the case.

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A Lincoln native, Nick McConnell joined the Journal Star in 2019, covering breaking news and general assignment stories.

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A Kansas City, Missouri, native, Andrew Wegley joined the Journal Star as breaking news reporter after graduating from Northwest Missouri State University in May 2021.

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