Cheneyville Bones Confirmed as Cemetery - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Cheneyville Bones Confirmed as Cemetery

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CHENEYVILLE, La. -- The Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office says they finally have an answer about where skeletal remains found in Cheneyville over the weekend could have come from. 

But is it a crime scene or a piece of history? News Channel Five's Brooke Buford got the answer. 

It was a typical afternoon for Ryan Hawkins as he was working the fields in Cheneyville Friday afternoon, until he and other workers unearthed quite a find.

"Got a phone call from one of the other workers saying hurry up, come fast," he said. "There was something in the ditch. I thought it was a snake or something."

That something turned out to be something quite surprising.

"I saw a body, a skeleton," he said. "I was freaked out."

The crew called the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office. By Saturday morning, detectives were in the field working on what appeared to be a crime scene.

"We were actually digging," said Major Jasper Bay with RPSO. "And, we already had parts of the skeleton exposed. So, we were digging to preserve that particular skeleton."

By initial accounts, it looked suspicious.

"From looking at it from my observation, we though it was just a dump site where someone dumped a body," said Cheneyville Mayor Reginald Allen.

But then, detectives made another find - another body buried in the ditch.

"What we realized is that there's a whole grave here or there's a cemetery here of bodies," said Major Bay. "And, the further we looked, the more evidence that we found of that. So, it was determined that this is a grave yard."

Unmarked graves in an unknown cemetery. Now, the bones will be sent off to an LSU lab for testing.

And as detectives await results, Ryan says this might be the most interesting find in Cheneyville that he can remember.

"Especially here in Cheneyville," he said. "Hardly ever find anything."

According to detectives and to the mayor, the cemetery might be an old Civil War or slave plot. The official answer as to where the bones came from will come in the next few weeks after anthropologists complete testing.

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