Speech to Text for Grave dig underway at South Huntsville business
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new details at four.. we have now learned there should be six graves in a centuries-old cemetery ... behind a south huntsville business. richards cemetery at south parkway and hobbs, dates back to the 1800s. huntsville police want to know if it was damaged when development started on the property. waay 31's sydney martin updates us on where the investigation stands. syd, "this piece of land is where huntsville police say a more than 200 year old cemetery sits..no one has been on the site today..however people in the area told me they've seen more activity here recently than they had in years." jim thrasher, lives nearby, "i was very surprised to see a tombstone there." jim thrasher says he's lived near hobbs road and the parkway for years..and until earlier this week he had no idea a small cemetery sat behind a laundromat. jim thrasher, lives nearby, "very surprised they had a cemetery there. because it had just been an overgrown lot for years and years." police say their investigation began when a neighbor told them the land was being developed. now a tombstone, and 5 stakes sit on the land. lieutenant michael johnson says it's a unique situation for the department. he explained in part, why it's been a pain-staking process. lt. michael johnson, huntsville police, ""we had to figure out how much of the land had been developed and the location where we knew the markers were and that's what we have been doing out here." police said the property owner was told in years prior when he tried to develop the land that he was not allowed to until he had permits from the alabama historic commission. now, police say they have evidence that clearing was done on the land and the owner never got a permit from the commission. the owner didn't want to talk to me on camera, but has told waay 31 this week he had no idea a cemetery was on the land. police tell me they're now working to locate the six graves that should be on the land. lt. michael johnson, huntsville police, ""there is most likely not the traditional type of grave that you suspect where you have a vault and you have a casket. that's not the case here." neighbors hope the piece of history in south huntsville wasn't destroyed. jim thrasher, lives nearby, "i hope they take good care of it. whatever they have to do because it's sacred ground and everything." syd, "huntsville police said if they determine a crime did occur because the graves were knowingly disturbed the owner could face multiple criminal charges. in huntsville sm waay 31 news."