Human bone fragments found in the Woolsey Fire burn area in Malibu were there before the blaze ravaged the area, authorities announced Tuesday.

The remains were found last Thursday in the 4000 block of Latigo Canyon Road and the discovery was reported to the sheriff’s department on Saturday, according to Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau. The area was secured and sheriff’s homicide detectives went to the location on Sunday, she said.

“During the investigation, it was revealed that a property owner was surveying the damage to their property when they came across the remains,” the deputy said. “It was confirmed the remains had been there prior to the recent fires in the Malibu area. Homicide detectives are investigating further and the analysis of the found remains are pending.”

Investigators were working to determine the cause and time frame of the death and the age of the decedent, she said.

Three deaths have been linked to the Woolsey Fire, which broke Nov. 8 in Ventura County and crossed into Los Angeles County.

Last Wednesday, a charred body was found in a burned-out home in the 32000 block of Lobo Canyon Road near Agoura Hills. Family members said the victim was 73-year-old Alfred Deciutiis, a retired oncologist.

Two other Woolsey Fire victims were found on Nov. 9 in a burned-out vehicle on a long driveway in the 33000 block of Mulholland Highway. Authorities said they suspect the driver became disoriented amid the flames.

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