Human skull found in backyard fire pit

[Image credit: Fox 2 Detroit]

New owners recently moved into a residence in Trenton, Michigan after completing renovations from a sale which concluded in May.  Monday night at about 6 pm, they placed a call to police to report that they had found what they believed may be a human skull in a fire pit in the back yard.


Investigators responded and recovered a mostly intact human skull and some other bone fragments.  According to statements made to WXYZ, they believe that they are dealing with remains from one individual and are optimistic that they may be able to make a positive identification through dental records.


The previous owner of the home was identified as 57-year-old Mark Eberly.  He lived with his parents in the home for decades and after they died three years ago, he inherited the property as their only child.


Eberly is said to have had a woman living with him for a period of time and police are working to try and locate her.


After the sale of the home, Eberly relocated to Tennessee where on June 19th he was arrested for driving on a revoked license and resisting arrest.

Mark Alan Eberly, 57 [Image credit: Cumberland County Sheriff's Department]

After a court date on the 25th where he was ordered to pay a $50 fine and released, Eberly was stopped once again on June 27th at 7:00 pm.


As the deputy approached the vehicle Eberly shot at the officer with a handgun striking him in the upper right portion of his chest, hitting his bullet proof vest and knocking him to the ground.  The officer is said to have regained his footing and returned fire.


After the vehicle came to a stop, Crossville Police Special Weapons and Tactics Team and Crisis Negotiations were sent to the scene.  When repeated attempts to make contact with Eberly failed, SWAT deployed chemical agents before advancing to the vehicle.  Eberly was found to be deceased.


Autopsy results have yet to be released to determine if the fatal wound was a self-inflicted gunshot wound or from the return fire of the officer.


While neighbors are uncertain of when Eberly was last in the home, they told police that they remembered seeing a large bonfire in the back yard in March according to the Detroit Free Press.


In speaking with WXYZ, David Mc Crowne, identified as a neighbor, said of Eberly, "I know he was an ex-marine, and he had a little bit of problems with his thinking."


Eberly was actually found to have three different socials media accounts.  One indicates he was a former Marine and studied criminal justice online, another indicates his relationship status was "complicated," while the third says that he was "single" and describes himself as "just a wanderer on the face of this earth."


The investigation remains ongoing.