The unidentified skull found on the banks of the Blanco River six months ago has apparently not been identified, though police on Sept. 9 renewed their search for the remains of Kyle resident Laurie Pineda, who disappeared in 2004.
According to the Hays County Sheriff’s Office, fishermen on March 19 found a skull near the area where Pineda had gone missing. The University of North Texas Center for Human Identification compared tissue samples from the skull with those from a 2002 medical procedure performed on Pineda by a local physician. Earlier this week, examiners asked if any other bones had been located to use for further comparison, hence the current search.
With the current severe drought in San Marcos, the Blanco River is at one of its lowest points in history, so the sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Division has organized search teams, which began scouring the river Sept. 9 at 6:30 am. The teams will search both side of the river from Post Road to Interstate 35, according to the sheriff’s office.
Pineda, 24, was reportedly swept into the river at a low water crossing on Nov. 14, 2004 during a flood event. Pineda and her friend, Jason Schmidt, attempted to cross the low water crossing on Post Road near Old Stagecoach Road when floodwaters swept their vehicle off the road. Both Pineda and Schmidt left the vehicle as it was filling with water. Schmidt was able to grab a nearby tree, but Pineda was swept down the river. Authorities attempted to locate her for several days.
In the following years, bones were found on two occassions along the Blanco River, though they were identified as being non-human.
The search teams are comprised of the Hays County Sheriff’s Office, San Marcos Police Department, the Civilian Emergency Response Team, and Texas State University Forensic graduate students. The Civilian Emergency Response Team and the local RN Emergency Response Coordinato is assisting with logistical support. Local pilot Ron Huffman is providing aerial support.Email | Print