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Erosion uncovers remains at an old rural area cemetery

October 19, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

IMPERIAL — The remains of as many as three people, buried in an old cemetery east of this city, were exposed as a result of erosion of the grounds, the county Coroner's Office reported.

County Sheriff's Sgt. Rick Macken said an irrigator working in a field near the cemetery spotted the remains shortly after noon Thursday.

Authorities determined the remains had been buried in the cemetery near Clark and Ralph roads.

Macken said it is thought the bodies had been buried either in the late 1800s or the early 1900s.

He said decades ago, a canal ditch was built near the cemetery and the work on the ditch may have disturbed some graves.

The bodies may have been compacted into the side of the canal ditch — without the knowledge of those working on the ditch — and their bodies re-covered by dirt.


Macken said erosion would have exposed the remains, leading to their discovery Thursday.

He said the remains are not complete but it appears they are those of three people.

The remains will be turned over to Evergreen Cemetery for reburial in the cemetery on Clark Road.

Macken said in a separate case, a U.S. Navy helicopter pilot flying over a bombing range in Carrizo Wash area spotted skeletal remains.

The pilot landed to confirm whether the remains were human.

Authorities were contacted, but Macken said his office had not been able to recover the remains as of this morning. He said he expected to recover the remains today.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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