CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – New information on the human remains found at the old Cloverleaf Mall site.
Police returned today but are now done with their investigation. It’s now in the hands of archeologists.
Police believe the remains are about 100 years old and part of a grave site. That’s based on some items found with the bones.
The investigation has not shut down construction of a new Kroger. Crews are working on the other 98% of the property now alongside an archeologist. Among the bulldozers, police cruisers at the construction site for a new Kroger.
While police combed the site Wednesday morning, a detective reviewed property records at the Chesterfield County Courthouse for a chain of deeds.
Late Tuesday, crews filling in a soft spot in the dirt, came across a human skull, bones, ornamental casket handles and a specific type of screw consistent with holding tops of caskets down.
Key pieces to the puzzle.
“If they have the casket handles, they are able to look at how they are made, date partly on stylistic grounds how we date an Egyptian coffin,” said Dr. Peter Schertz, an ancient art curator at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
He said a form of radio carbon dating is a technique commonly used when examining bone samples.
“It’s not going to give you May 1st, 1925 this person died. You don’t get something that accurate, but you could probably get it down to around 1920 plus or minus ten years,” said Dr. Schertz.
The developer said there was about 30 to 40 years of plant growth above the six to eight feet deep grave site.
Picture where Cloverleaf Mall stood. The Crosland developer tells me crews uncovered the remains in about a 10×20 foot plot just south of the old Hecht’s building underneath what was a parking lot.
The site is not a crime scene. Police are stepping aside to allow an archeologist to finish work. The developer for the Kroger store doesn’t expect a full excavation.
The Virginia Department of Historic Resources is working to identify possible family members of the previous property owners.
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