The following was referred to me by an anonymous person, who said that they used to work on the police force. This is their account of one of their more troubling cases.
It wasn't until the third day that we managed to find the last piece of the third camper, six hundred feet from the campsite, twenty feet up an old oak tree. The other body parts had been located in a similar fashion, though most had been on ground level. After that, it simply became a matter of finding out which part went where, and to which person.
We arrived shortly after three in the morning, after responding to a call from a local woman. Her daughter had gone out with some friends to the woods the previous Friday and had never returned. She hadn't heard from them in over a day, and when they didn't return by Monday, she became worried. It wasn't hard to locate their site, but what we found only made things more puzzling. Their campsite had been torn apart, the pieces of their tents, sleeping bags, and other items scattered across the ground. A kerosine lantern was found some distance away, along with several broken flashlights. The only item that had not been touched was their cooler. The condition of the bodies helped us figure out why.
They had been cooked over a long period of time, likely close to six hours. This destroyed any fingerprints on the bodies, either the victim's or the assailants. The coroner said that it was around two to three hours, over a low heat. Their were hints of mint on the flesh, along with several other unidentified spices. This was particularly disturbing, since it meant a great amount of care was put into the meats preparation.
The dental records were incomplete, but were enough to identify some of the victims. One of them was the missing daughter, and after some further investigation we managed to identify another one of them as her best friend. The third teen could not be identified, the evidence simply too incomplete. What was left had clearly been sectioned with a knife, and likely consumed at another location.
Conversations with the mother revealed that the daughter had headed off into the woods to look for Dwarfs. The daughter was aware that they did not exist, but it had become a habit from childhood, when she had first become interested in the subject of fey creatures. She was not involved in the practice of druidism, or any other beliefs that hold onto the belief that such creatures exists.
In her room there was discovered a collection of books on the subject, along with figurines and other objects. This was additionally substantiated by the presence of a picture book among her camping gear, a work which the mother later identified as being one of her favorites.
Though extensive investigation of the woods were done, the identities of the campers, as well as any physical evidence that would prove useful in the identification of the killers, could not be found. It was determined that there were multiple persons involved, as there were several sets of bite marks found on the victims bodies, though none of them could be attributed to any know criminals in our database.
At first it was thought that perhaps some of these wounds were possibly caused by wild animals, while the cooking of the flesh and the seasoning may have been used as a way of preparing a sacrifice. However, though the jaw marks on the victims showed a peculiar bite pattern, the shape was consistent with that of a human. The bites were quite wide, and the teeth seemed to have been filed down into points, making the consumption of flesh easier. It was assumed that the consumption of meat was the murderers main source of solid nutrition.
On all the victims, it was found that several of their teeth were removed. Investigations into the dental records of the available victims showed that at least some of the teeth had gold filling, promoting many to wonder if this had been partially monetarily motivated. However, the paper money and other valuables were left untouched. In fact, the watch on the girls friend, which was of significant quality, was later found among the ashes of the fire.
This is not the first missing persons case to be involved in these woods, but it was the first of this level of violence. Strangely, despite the fact that their was been a great amount of rain over the weekend of the murder, footprints were reserved to those of the victims and smaller forest creatures. The main outstanding detail that seems to defy all forms of explanations was the presence of fingerprints. Although much of the tangible evidence that could be found on the items within the site suggested a large amount of handling by the victims, there was also found other sets of fingerprints, specifically on the lantern and flashlights. These were significantly smaller than those of the victims, and were more or less the equivalent size and shape of a toddler.
A search of the woods was later conducted to locate the missing toddler, though the girl and her friend were not known to babysit or be involved in any activities that would justify bringing a child on the trip with them. Since this case there have been no other attacks of this type, though every year there are still reports of missing persons. One additional detail that seemed to confound many of the police involved was the strange sounds of bells that many reported to have heard while investigating the crime scene.