Sheriff's office: Human remains found in Madison County development, no foul play suspected

The sheriff's office believes the remains were there for awhile.

Posted: Sep 23, 2019 6:14 PM
Updated: Sep 24, 2019 7:53 AM

Human remains have been unearthed at a development in New Market.

The Madison County Sheriff's Office said the remains were found about a mile from Kroger on Moores Mill Road.

The sheriff's office said investigators, the crime scene unit and the coroner's office all responded on Sept. 17. They're working to determine when the grave was placed on this land, but don't think there is foul play.

Tom McGee said he drives Moores Mill Road every day to and from work, and had no idea an investigation into human remains was underway.

"I was just driving by there and noticed nice houses were going to be built. I had no idea they were going to uncover a body," he said.

The Madison County Sheriff's Office said the remains were uncovered during construction last week, and believe they're from an unmarked grave. The sheriff's office is working to determine the age of the grave, but think it's been there awhile.

McGee said he wants to know more about what was previously on the land before the developer took over.

"Maybe the previous land owner buried some of their family there. Who knows?" he said.

Now, a cemetery sits adjacent to the new development and also sits in front of part of it. McGee said he had questions about if the grave site was supposed to be there.

"Maybe it was a part of the cemetery and somehow a body got lost in the confusion since the tombstone wasn't there," he said.

The sheriff's office said officials have no reason to believe any other graves are on the construction site, or that it is related to the cemetery.

The remains are now with the coroner. The sheriff's office will determine the next steps. Construction is allowed to resume at the subdivision.

Earlier this month, an unmarked cemetery was uncovered in South Huntsville behind a laundromat off Memorial Parkway. 

Jason Lee, a contractor, said he was surprised to hear human remains were found at a subdivision development site last week in New Market.

"I would be really surprised to be a contractor on that project and have to deal with that. That wouldn't be a good day," Lee said.

Lee said he's a lifelong resident of Madison County and says the area doesn't look like it used to.

"The rural areas are becoming the city. You have your separation between Madison, Huntsville and South Huntsville. Now, they're all just coming together and the county is becoming the city. It just gets bigger and bigger," he said.

With development, Lee said these unmarked graves could become something we might hear more about.

"We're unearthing a lot of stuff and there are a lot of new projects happening around here, so with the growth, I think possibly you'll uncover more stuff," he said.

Lee said if his workers came across something like this, they would stop work immediately and call authorities.

"We're probably going to call it an early week," he said.

WAAY 31 asked Huntsville police about the criminal investigation still underway in South Huntsville. In that case, the property owner is being investigated to see if he knew the land contained a cemetery from the 1800s before he started developing it. Police said the investigation is ongoing, and there are no updates at this time.

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