Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Human bones buried under Gaillard at least 50 years

Paging Dr. Temperance Brennan

Posted by Paul Bowers on Wed, Feb 6, 2013 at 3:51 PM

Paul Bowers file photo
  • Paul Bowers file photo
  • Renovation has been underway at the Gaillard since October 2012
Tuesday morning, workers were digging with a backhoe during renovation at the Gaillard Municipal Auditorium when they uncovered what appeared to be parts of a human skull, jaw, and teeth. According to a police report, the bones "appeared to have been there for many years."

The police report says that the site of the bones had previously been covered by a driveway for more than 50 years. The bones were found six to eight feet beneath the surface of the ground, and the Post and Courier reported this morning that an archaeologist had found what appeared to be two human graves lying head to toe. The archaeologist is still investigating to see whether the ground near the Gaillard could be the site of more graves.

Site superintendent Kelly Deans came to Charleston police around 10 a.m. Tuesday to report finding the bones, and when investigators determined the bones were human, they contacted the Charleston County Coroner's Office. The coroner declined to come to the site because of "the advanced stage of decomposition and the lack of suspicious activity," according to the report.

Police turned the site back over to City of Charleston Capital Projects, who enlisted the help of an archaeologist at Brockington and Associates, a consulting firm with an office in Mt. Pleasant. According to City of Charleston spokesperson Barbara Vaughn, the renovation team has paused its work near where the bones were found, but work is carrying on as usual elsewhere on the site.

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