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Human remains uncovered at Botanic Gardens

By Mekialaya White

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    DENVER (KCNC) — Workers at the Denver Botanic Gardens made a recent strange discovery, but its Associate Director of Communications Erin Bird tells CBS4’s Mekialaya White it’s not uncommon because of what lies beneath the land.

Crews were working on an excavation project when they found a human arm bone.

“We are doing a project in our Japanese gardens as part of a larger project, where we are replacing the lining in the streams and ponds around the gardens. They’re old and cracked and we’re losing a lot of water. In an effort to conserve water and be more sustainable, we are excavating out the cracked and damaged linings and replacing it with new lining,” said Bird. “When we were moving around in the stream of the Japanese garden, the crew did encounter what they found to be some human remains.”

It isn’t the first time crews have found human remains in the area. CBS4 reported on a similar occurrence back in 2008.

“The Denver Botanic Gardens sits on the site of a former cemetery form the 1800s. The whole area from Cheesman Park, adjacent to us, to Congress Park was a cemetery. So, when the Botanic Gardens was made in the 1950s, most of those bodies and graves were exhumed, but there are some remains,” explained Bird.

The area was once Denver’s oldest and largest graveyard.

“It’s unfortunately just the nature of the location. We contact the coroner’s office, and they collect the remains and then they take over from there and see about identifying or proper burials. They come move them to their site for the next steps.”

Bird says the Botanic Gardens are open for regular business.

Further information on the remains will be released, pending identification from the coroner’s office.

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