Sheriff: Remains Found May Be From Unmarked Cemetery

Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office

DEWITTVILLE — Bones from at least two sets of human remains that may have been buried in an unmarked cemetery were unearthed in Dewittville.

The recovery, from a contractor working at a property on Meadows Road on Tuesday, is not being treated as suspicious, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Investigators learned that the contractor, using an excavator, had come across the human remains. The scene was secured, and members from the Forensic Anthropology program at Mercyhurst College responded to the scene Wednesday.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the property on which the bones were located is the former location of the Chautauqua County Alms House. The Alms House or “County Farm” started in the early 1800s and was open in some capacity for over 100 years.

“Through research into some historical records and articles, it was learned that there were numerous people buried on the property during that time. The history of this property along with some of the items located at the scene seem to indicate that these remains may have been part of an unmarked cemetery.

“At this point this incident does not appear to be suspicious. Chautauqua County will be in contact with the property owner in regard to the remains.”


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