5 sets of skeletal remains found at Sturgis site

NOW: 5 sets of skeletal remains found at Sturgis site


STURGIS, Mich. -- Sturgis Police held a press conference to provide an update on the skeletal remains found in the area of S. Nottawa Street and Bogen Road. Crews working at the site have found the remains of three adults and two children at the site.

It is believed the remains are historic, meaning they are the remains of someone who died over 100 years ago.

Stoney Summey, the Veterans Affairs Coordinator for St. Joseph County, told police the remains could be early settlers of Sturgis.

Summey said there used to be a school house and possibly a church at the site.

He said local residents have been searching for the remains of a Revolutionary War veteran, David Randall, for several years.

The Randalls moved to the Sturgis area from Ohio in 1833. David Randall died in October 1835.

Carolyn Isaac, a forensic anthropologist with the Medical Examiner's Office in Kalamazoo, says they were called out to determine whether the remains were recent or historic.

She said the tooth wear, the fact the bones were completely skeletonized, and that they were the color of the soil led them to believe the bones had been there a considerable amount of time.

A search of the area over the last two days yielded the remains of three adults and two children, she said.

The remains will be examined to determine each person's approximate age at time of death, sex and ancestry. She said the bones did not appear to be those of a Native American.

Once the skeletons have been thoroughly examined, the lab will conduct carbon 14 dating to determine the age of the bones.

Isaac said they suspect the site could have been a cemetery at one time. The remains were found about six feet down and they located a piece of hardware that could be from a coffin.

Once all analysis is complete, the bones will either be returned to family, if family is found, or investigators will arrange for their burial.

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