UPDATE: 19th century remains found at site of St. Louis Ikea store

Friday, June 6, 2014 | 7:40 a.m. CDT; updated 8:08 p.m. CDT, Friday, June 6, 2014

ST. LOUIS — Human remains from a 19th century cemetery have been unearthed at the site of a new Ikea store in St. Louis.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that workers unearthed the remains Thursday, but the discovery is not expected to delay the project.

Workers were digging when they hit a vault. Homicide detectives were initially called but quickly determined it was nothing suspicious.

The land was the Rock Spring Cemetery from 1849 to 1855. Hundreds of graves were moved away from the site after a cholera outbreak prompted St. Louis to require that new cemeteries be built outside city limits.

A set of scattered human bones inside the vault were removed Thursday afternoon. Workers from Calvary Cemetery boxed them, with plans to rebury them in a section of Calvary where more than 100 people also from the former Rock Springs Cemetery are buried.

Gabe Jones, a spokesman for the St. Louis Archdiocese, said it was unlikely that the remains found Thursday would be identifiable.

"There are no records to speak of from that far back," he said.

The excavating company S.M. Wilson plans to bring ground sonar equipment to the Ikea site this week to check for more potential grave sites.


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