Forensic Archaeological Investigation Uncovers Mystery at Local Cemeteries

Photo of man and woman sitting examining bones for forensic archaeology

Assisting the Kentucky Attorney General's investigation of abuses in three urban cemeteries (Eastern, Greenwood, and Schardein), DiBlasi has conducted forensic archaeological investigations on hundreds of graves in an effort to acquire information to assist in the prosecution of the case. After the disposition of the case, research and assisting the community continue.

In some cases, families want loved ones' remains recovered, identified and moved to other cemeteries. This is where DiBlasi and students excavate remains and examine them to estimate age, ancestry, sex, and stature. Pathologies and trauma reported by families are also sought on the remains to aid in the identification process.

In other cases, families simply want to find the graves of loved ones. The records have been moved to the UofL Archaeology Laboratory for curation. A Trust Fund has been established for the maintenance of the records. Presently, the majority of the records have been entered into a searchable database and many of the original records, dating to 1843, have been scanned.

DiBlasi assists family members in providing information from the cemetery records to prepare petitions to the courts for disinterments and the rare burials, still allowed in these cemeteries. DiBlasi also works with local volunteer organizations advising them when it comes to ground altering activity that is closely monitored by the courts.