Cooke County Sheriff’s Deputy Jim Carter said a farmer unearthed the skull Friday afternoon while working on private property west of Gainesville.

“He was tilling a field and evidently it came to the surface,” Carter said Monday, adding that the item was clearly human and has been submitted to the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification in Fort Worth for forensic analysis. “It did have teeth in the skull — which helps, as far as dental records go.”

An investigation is in preliminary stages. Carter added that to his knowledge, there are no missing persons cases in the county that might correspond to Friday’s finding. “It makes it more difficult to ascertain who it is,” he said. ‘We just hope that whoever it is, it’s known that they’re missing from somewhere else.”

The local skull discovery is the second during the past year. In late April, Cooke County law enforcement confirmed identification of Eddy Ball Jr., 50, a Gainesville resident and confirmed missing man since Aug. 15, 2010.

A hunter discovered a skull on private property near Lake Texoma on Dec. 5, and cadaver dogs recovered additional bones four days later. The UNT identification center conducted analysis while law enforcement investigated related information. Genetic sampling from Ball’s mother, Barbara Wofford, was later matched with the remains to confirm an exact identity.

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