When two skulls were found during construction of a Florida pool in January, authorities thought they might be dealing with a murder mystery from the 1970s.
But archaeologists have determined the remains are likely centuries old -- and came from Peru.
"It's a fascinating case," said Orange County's Chief Medical Examiner Jan Garavaglia, better known as "Dr. G" from her TV series on the Discovery Health Channel.
Construction crews stumbled upon the skulls in January while digging a pool in the Carriage Pointe subdivision in Winter Garden, Fla., just west of Orlando.
Because of 1978 newspaper clippings found alongside the bones, the chief medical examiner thought she might be trying to help solve a crime.
She was shocked when the head of the University of Central Florida's archaeology department said the bones were much older.
"According to archaeologists, they appear to be from South America, particularly in the Peruvian region," said Garavaglia. "And they're dating these artifacts to about 1200 to 1400."
Looking back, she recalled something on the smaller skull that initially made her doubt these were from the late 1970s.
"There was some mummified soft tissue which we don't usually see here in Florida," said Garavaglia.
The archaeologists helping Garavaglia also used artifacts found with the skulls -- including a purse, tapestries and clay pots -- to bolster their claim that the bones are between 600 and 800 years old.
Garavaglia said the backyard where the bones were found must be a second burial site, adding, "The big mystery is how did they get there, and who put them there?"
The property where the bones were found used to be a migrant camp and the medical examiner said these relics could have been handed down to a worker who moved to Florida and then buried the items.