A plan to rebury 17 unidentified bodies discovered during a road project in Indiana earlier this year may end up in a courtroom.
Descendants of people buried in the Stewart-Emery Cemetery, located just north of Louisville, Ky., are threatening a lawsuit to stop town officials from reburying the remains in a nearby nature preserve.
Families told WDRB-TV the proposal would put their loved ones in an area that’s hard to access and has issues with vandalism.
“It’s a beautiful cemetery,” Kathie Miller, a descendant, told WDRB. “It’s been desecrated repeatedly over the years. Lots of vandalism and just the foot path alone is a deterrent.”
The cemetery dates back to the 1800s, The Courier-Journal reported. Town officials said finding unmarked remains around a site of that age would not be surprising.
Instead of moving the remains to another location, some families want to see the remains returned as close to the original site as possible.
“We’ve been told that they could probably put three people each in two of the empty plots that we know are here,” Janus Emery-Bowling said.
The Clarksville town manager told WDRB officials are trying to work with families, and repeatedly stated legal issues concerning the remains have made the reburial process complicated.
Families are planning to meet in early December with public officials to figure out the next step, but are also working with attorneys to take possible legal action against the town.
“If that’s what’s necessary, that’s the type of measure we’ll have to take,” Miller said.
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