Skeletal remains in suburb believed to be from Indian burial ground

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Detectives investigate the site where skeletal human remains were found under the 100 block of Bloomingbank Road in Riverdale on Thursday. They are believed to be from an Indian burial ground. | Riverside Police Dept.

Skeletal human remains found by a construction crew under a west suburban street may be from a former Indian burial ground in the area, but police want to be sure.

A construction crew working on a sewer project in the 100 block of Bloomingbank Road in Riverside on Thursday afternoon unearthed the skeletal remains and called 911, according to Riverside police.

Officers determined that the unearthed remains were human and contacted detectives, police said.

Police Chief Tom Weitzel said police are “treating this as a death investigation and the West Suburban Major Crimes Task Evidence Technicians are on scene processing the skeletal remains for further investigation at the medical examiner’s office.”

Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel

Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel

But he noted the area is a “well-documented Indian burial ground and skeletal remains have been found in this same general area” in the past.

He said there was no indication of foul play but police “must conduct the death investigation the same as they would at any other crime scene.”

The on-scene medical examiner immediately determined that the “recovered bones are old,” Weitzel said.

A forensic anthropologist will now examine the remains to try to determine how long they’ve been in the ground, and if they are “consistent with the Indian burial ground that is known to be in the immediate area.”

The 100 block of Bloomingbank will remain closed to all traffic “until the burial site and skeletal remains are completely excavated and transported to the medical examiner’s office,” he said.

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