Central State Human Remains “Mutilated” by Police Construction | Indiana News
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Indianapolis police knowingly disturbed human remains in a historic cemetery during the construction of a new K-9 training facility in the western part of town, the Indiana Medical History Museum has said.
As teams dug a trench to connect the water pipes to the new building, the remains of three people buried in the state central hospital cemetery were “crushed and mutilated,” the museum said on Tuesday in a statement. on the way to the water line – also had to be exhumed for future re-internment by archaeologists.
The grounds of Central State Hospital, a psychiatric treatment facility that operated from 1848 until it closed in 1992, is now home to the Indiana Museum of Medical History. The Metropolitan Indianapolis Police Department’s Horse Patrol and its new K-9 facility are located next door.
Working alongside archaeologists from Ball State University, the museum works to identify patients and mark burials in the oldest of the hospital’s four cemeteries for nearly two years. Museum officials said the IMPD moved forward with construction of the cemetery before archaeologists were able to determine the exact locations of all of the patient burial sites in the area.
“They did so knowing the cemetery was there and with no archaeologist on site to monitor the excavations for any signs of burial and to stop work if any were discovered,” the museum said.
The museum said further damage was caused even after the remains were exhumed by archaeologists. The contractors drilled “at two additional points” and at depths “compatible with the different depths of the tombs unearthed by the archaeologists”. The work “most likely” disturbed or destroyed other graves, museum officials said, although the extent of this potential damage is never known.
“It’s just not OK,” the museum said. “The need for this is debatable, and it was not done in a transparent manner.”
Indianapolis Police said in a statement that the contractors “immediately” informed authorities and halted construction once human remains were found. They said they would continue to work with contractors, archaeologists and other state officials “to ensure these people receive the proper and respectful resting place they deserve.”
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