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Human remains unearthed on ancient Native American burial ground following Nicole

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Martin County officials launched an investigation after human remains were unearthed on Hutchinson Island on Thursday following Tropical Storm Nicole. Sheriff’s Office officials said the high surf led to human remains becoming visible on Chastain Beach. “We are working as if it’s a crime scene out of an abundance of caution,” said Martin County Sheriff’s Office Chief John Budensiek. “These remains would normally be about eight feet under the beach floor here, so it’s most likely an Indian burial ground.” Deputies said ancient human remains were also uncovered in this area following Hurricane Dorian in 2019 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Investigators said a Beachgoer found six human skulls and several small bones in the rocks along the beach on Thursday morning. The area is an ancient Native American burial ground, and federally protected land, according to officials. People are forbidden from digging for ancient artifacts or human remains. Investigators believe the remains are people from the Ais Tribe, who lived on Hutchinson Island until the 1700s. The bodies will undergo age and DNA testing by the medical examiner’s office, and if they’re positively identified as ancient human remains, they’ll be sent to a university in the state for historical preservation, Budensiek said. This is a developing story and will be updated as details become available.

Martin County officials launched an investigation after human remains were unearthed on Hutchinson Island on Thursday following Tropical Storm Nicole.

Sheriff’s Office officials said the high surf led to human remains becoming visible on Chastain Beach.

“We are working as if it’s a crime scene out of an abundance of caution,” said Martin County Sheriff’s Office Chief John Budensiek. “These remains would normally be about eight feet under the beach floor here, so it’s most likely an Indian burial ground.”

Deputies said ancient human remains were also uncovered in this area following Hurricane Dorian in 2019 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Investigators said a beachgoer found six human skulls and several small bones in the rocks along the beach on Thursday morning.

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The area is an ancient Native American burial ground, and federally protected land, according to officials. People are forbidden from digging for ancient artifacts or human remains.

Investigators believe the remains are people from the Ais Tribe, who lived on Hutchinson Island until the 1700s.

The bodies will undergo age and DNA testing by the medical examiner’s office, and if they’re positively identified as ancient human remains, they’ll be sent to a university in the state for historical preservation, Budensiek said.

This is a developing story and will be updated as details become available.

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