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Updated: Skeletal remains found on site for new CVS Pharmacy in Hastings

An investigator examines a skull found in Hastings on Wednesday afternoon on what will be the site for a new CVS Pharmacy. Star Gazette photo by Chad Richardson1 / 2
Crews discuss the case along Highway 61 in Hastings on Wednesday evening. Star Gazette photo by Chad Richardson2 / 2

Skeletal remains were found by crews working on the new CVS Pharmacy in Hastings on Wednesday afternoon.

Shortly after the remains were found, authorities were contacted and they've secured the area. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was contacted and they sent the medical examiner's office. They notified a team or archaeologists to Hastings to begin the process of recovering the remains. The remains will then be examined in a laboratory in an effort to learn as much as possible about them.

Early indications are that the remains have been there for "many years," according to Hastings Chief of Police Bryan Schafer.

Crews worked into the night to recover all the remains.

It appears as though the remains belong to a middle-aged woman, and based on what was found in the area of the remains leads archaeologists to believe that the remains are from the early 1800s.

A number of tacks and nails were found around the body, leading investigators to conclude that there was once a coffin holding the body of the woman. The wood from the coffin has disintegrated over the last 200 years leaving just the tacks, the nails and the bones.

Archaeologists have concluded that, based again on the gravesite, the woman was not Native American. 

They hope to perform some tests on the tacks and nails to further narrow down the period of time of the burial. 

Archaeologists hope to turn over a report sometime next week to the police department.

Chad Richardson

Chad Richardson is the news director for RiverTown Multimedia. He was the publisher of four RiverTown publications until 2016, when he was named news director. He was previously general manager of the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages from 2000 to 2007. He worked at the Hastings Star Gazette from 1996 to 2000 as a photographer and reporter. He also worked as a photographer and writer at the Pope County Tribune in Glenwood.

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