Ancient Remains of Little Girl Found in Dirt

Published: 6:01 AM - 04-07-11

Worker looking for Indian artifacts finds something far more precious - the remains of a little girl.

The remains were found in a massive pile of dirt from the Washington Park renovation project. The child was cremated, which raises more questions about how she died.

Local 12 Reporter Deborah Dixon is looking into this mystery which reaches back more than a hundred years.

The leaden box with evidence of a child cremation inside was found by someone looking for arrowheads . All remains found during the Washington Park excavation will be buried again at Spring Grove Cemetery.

Archaeologists and anthropologists are no longer at the site because excavation of the grave part of the park is over.. or so they thought.

Some of the dirt from Washington Park is going as fill dirt for a construction site at Cincinnati Waterworks in California. A worker who knows where the dirt comes from looks for artifacts in the soil.

He was looking for arrowheads when he found a leaden box, peeled open... to reveal evidence of a historic cremation.. a child cremation.

Local 12 is not showing the remains. The pieces of blackened wood inside the box were apparently ignited to cremate the remains. But there were still bone inside, and a few wisps of the child's hair.

Even though dirt from the Washington Park site is dumped at the Waterworks construction, there is the possibility that the box didn't actually come from Washington Park. The river, when it flooded, rose to the top of the hill at the Waterworks site and the box was found in the dirt several feet below on the hill.

So did the child, once resting in peace in a graveyard somewhere surface because of nature or machine? 3CDC is working with archaeologists who have been at the site. Hamilton County's Coroner hopes they find the answer. "Our job is to find out and make sure it never happens again."

Mt. St. Joseph's Dr. Beth Murray, a forensic anthropologist, agrees. "If these remains came from Washington Park...they need to make sure doesn't happen again."

Edited by: Brenda Booth

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