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More human remains found at DPW site near future Indy Eleven complex

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Posted at 10:36 AM, Jan 23, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-23 10:52:36-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Last week, more remains were found near where crews are building the Indy Eleven soccer stadium.

Again, historians say the findings are not shocking.

DPW utility crews uncovered human remains at the new Henry Street bridge across the White River. They agree the findings are not surprising.

"We weren't surprised, because we know this site has a long, complicated history," Director of DPW Brandon Herget said. "It's critically important we know that there are decades if not centuries of neglect in these issues and frankly we don't want to be a part of continuing that violence to the community. We want to be part of the issue and honoring and telling the story long term about the history of the site."

Portions of the project overlap with the old Diamond Chain complex which was built on top of the city's first cemetery.

"This is the original 4 acre burial ground site," local historian Leon Bates said.

Bates says the soil here is rich with history. The cemetery dates back to 1821.

"The list just goes on, there are people here, there are stories here, that we don't understand. Don't realize until someone points it out," Bates said.

DPW says crews recovered a piece of a finger bone back in July when utility crews were trying to find buries fiber optic lines, but say there wasn't any more evidence of human remains at that spot.

"We don't know how many people got left behind but we know it's a large number, so invariably they're going to find them," Bates said.

Just as Bates warned when the Indy Eleven complex broke ground, he anticipated remains would be found at this job site too.

"It wasn't all hyperbole on our side that they're going to find people," Bates said. "They're going to find remains as this project goes on."

Indianapolis DPW says the discovery won't push their project back for the new Henry Street bridge.

They say crews were doing pre-coordination ahead of Spring, when ground is expected to be broken.