Remains Found at St. Jude Construction Site, Medical Examiner Investigating (Video)

Discovery of Human Remains

Human remains were found at a construction site near downtown Memphis. Workers discovered a bone just after 7 AM on Tuesday morning. Given the location of the site, near the first cemetery in Memphis, it is not surprising that the remains might be human.

Historical Context of the Site

The construction site is located near Lane Avenue, close to the internationally recognized St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The area was the location of the first cemetery in Memphis, established in 1828 by three original landowners, including notable figures like James Winchester and John Overton.

Significance of the Cemetery

James Winchester, the former mayor, donated 11 acres of his property to be the city cemetery, which served people of all races and religions. However, during the yellow fever epidemic, many bodies were reinterred at Elmwood Cemetery in South Memphis due to vandalism and desecration of the original cemetery.

Current Status of the Site

The former Winchester Cemetery is now Winchester Park, a grassy area with a few historical markers to remind visitors of its past. The discovery of the bone has sparked interest in potentially conducting forensic analysis to learn more about the individual’s identity and cause of death.

Investigation and Future Steps

Judith Johnson, an architectural historian, expressed hope that forensic analysis could determine the age, sex, and cause of death of the individual, possibly providing insights into historical diseases like yellow fever or scurvy. The investigation is ongoing, with the medical examiner working to uncover more information about the remains.

This discovery highlights the rich history of Memphis and the importance of preserving and understanding its past through careful examination of such findings.

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