construction site digging

Skeletal Remains Of 5 People Unearthed In Michigan May Be Of Early Settlers

July 11, 2019 - 2:49 pm

STURGIS (WWJ/AP) - Officials say skeletal remains of two children and three adults unearthed in southwestern Michigan may be those of early settlers.

Sturgis Public Safety Director Geoff Smith said what he described as "various parts of human skeletal remains" were found Tuesday in the area of S. Nottawa St. and Bogen Rd. in the City of Sturgis by a work crew working excavating for a retention pond.

The remains were found about 6 feet underground, along with what appers to be harware from a coffin.

"This morning, as digging continued, more human skelatal remains were located at the same site," Smith said at a news Wednesday conference. "So what has happened is that we have continued on with help from Western Michigan University and the Kalamazoo Medical Examiner's Office with trying to go through what they're finding, and how to move forward and what to do with the remains."

After investigating at the scene with help from the Michigan State Police Crime Lab and WMU Anthropology Unit, Smith said the remains were taken for further examination by forensic anthropologists, including carbon, to determine whether there’s a connection to an old burial site.

The city has been talking with local historians want to know whether the remains may be those of a Revolutionary War veteran who later settled in the area, just north of the Indiana state line, and died in the 1830s.

"They had a lot of information that I don't wanna say surprised us, but was news to us and matched up a lot with some of what's been found so far," Smith said. 

The investigation and evaluation of the remains are ongoing.