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Published: Saturday, 4/16/2005

Bones in Maumee ID'd as century old

Forensic anthropologist Julie Saul, center, and other specialists survey the site where the bones were found. Forensic anthropologist Julie Saul, center, and other specialists survey the site where the bones were found.

Authorities yesterday identified bones found at a construction site in Maumee as the 100-year-old remains of an adult female, and experts will soon investigate whether there is a cemetery at the site.

"We have so far seen a single gravesite," Dr. James Patrick, Lucas County coroner, said. "Our next step is to determine if this is a single gravesite or a previous cemetery."

Dr. Patrick said that if the site contains just a single grave, the remains likely would be reburied in a different location and the development could continue.

However, he said, an entire cemetery on the site might delay or halt construction of the single-family homes and condominiums with price tags ranging from $350,000 to $750,000.

Anthropologists and archaeologists from area colleges and the Lucas County coroner's office yesterday examined the construction site at 2500 River Rd., near the Maumee River.

An excavating crew unearthed a skull and torso bones there on Thursday.

Dr. Patrick said yesterday's examination of the site revealed an entire human skeleton buried with what appeared to be the remains of a wooden coffin.

A group of experts from Indiana is scheduled to run tests at the site later this weekend or Monday. They will use electromagnetic energy to scan the site for a cemetery, preventing unnecessary digging.

The construction site is the former location of the Miami Children's Home. Lucas County took over the orphanage in 1890 and served children there for nearly a century.

CSB Investors recently demolished former orphanage buildings to prepare the site for the residential development, called Riverside Commons.

Maumee police Lt. Michael Noble said the site is not being treated as a crime scene, but the police department plans to keep it secure until it is examined further.

Authorities are leaving the uncovered remains at the site, except for the skull and bones found Thursday, which are being kept at the coroner's office.

Experts believe the remains probably are not part of a Native American burial ground because it appears the woman was buried in a coffin.

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