Human leg bones found at townhome construction site

Second discovery of human remains at former black cemetery site in Deerfield Beach

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – Workers discovered human leg bones this week at a Deerfield Beach construction site that was once a black cemetery, making it the second macabre discovery at the site since the city commission approved the controversial project in April.

"There was a finding of human remains, leg bones actually," said Dwayne Dickerson, attorney for the site's owner, Robert Kassab. "There were leg bones and artifacts that were consistent with a wood coffin... We immediately stopped the excavation and notified the state architect."

Last month, workers discovered skull fragments, gold-capped teeth and coffin parts at the site. While those bones and teeth were moved off-site to a laboratory, the leg bones remain on site and it is not yet known if the remainder of the skeleton is located nearby, said Dickerson.

"We want to fully understand the full extent of the human remains that might be on the site," he said. "We do think that any remains should be relocated to a proper public cemetery."

Funeral home director Theodus Times disagrees. He and many others in the black community warned human remains would be found at the site before the city commission approved the controversial townhome project in April.

Times said the remains need to stay where they are and that the city should purchase the land and transform it into a memorial park.

"There were some individuals there that were former slaves that were buried there," he said. "And I just feel like those individuals had such a hard life, why should they have a hard death?"

The state is in charge of the archeological study now being done on the site and could possibly be the final arbiter on the fate of the project.

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