Human remains removed from Evansville construction site

Human remains removed from Evansville construction site
Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 5:53 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - In February, Evansville Water and Sewer Utility construction crews uncovered human remains while working on a storm drainage project.

This was at the intersection of Fourth and Vine Streets.

[Previous story: ‘It happens more often than you think’: Historians weigh in on uncovered human remains]

EWSU officials provided an update on the site on Wednesday.

They say a brick vault was found with a grave inside. Archaeologists working the case say the remains of an adult were found with “mediocre preservation.”

That means the bigger bones were likely intact, with the smaller bones in worse shape.

The DNR Archaeologist reviewing this case is Cathy Draeger-Williams. She says the bones have been removed and are being sent to a lab to be analyzed.

In the meantime, EWSU crews have received the green light to resume their construction work at Fourth and Vine.

Officials say first, crews will wrap up their work at the intersections of Second and Vine as well as Third and Vine.

EWSU officials say they expect work to resume at Fourth and Vine on April 3. However, archaeologists will remain at the construction site to supervise the work.

“Construction can continue with the condition that archeology is done,” Draeger-Williams said. “If additional graves or additional remains are found, then the construction has to stop and the archeologist will come in and excavate whatever they need to and handle the situation.”

It will likely remain a mystery who the remains belong to. Draeger-Williams says DNA testing is expensive and will probably not tell investigators anything they don’t already know.

After the bones are examined, archaeologists say they will find a local cemetery to bury the bones.

If EWSU crews resume construction and more remains or graves are discovered, work will have to stop within 100 feet of the discovery until all remains are excavated.