TPD: Could take “weeks to months” to identify skeletal remains found by construction workers

Medical examiner is now analyzing remains, TPD says
Police investigating skeletal remains at construction site
Published: May. 30, 2023 at 4:06 PM EDT|Updated: May. 31, 2023 at 3:56 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - It could take “weeks to months” to identify remains unearthed by construction crews near Fairview Middle School Tuesday, a Tallahassee Police spokeswoman said.

The skeletal remains were uncovered by crews replacing water mains near Zillah Street and Tram Road, TPD spokeswoman Heather Merritt said Wednesday.

Merritt says the medical examiner’s office has retrieved the remains and will be analyzing them in hopes of identifying them and pinpointing any obvious cause of death.

The remains were found beneath a paved roadway, Merritt said, so TPD detectives are focused now on learning more about the property’s history, what it was used for and how long ago the road was paved to try to figure out how long the remains may have been there.

TPD officers were on the scene Tuesday for nearly eight hours, sifting through the dirt.

One woman who lives just down the street said she was shocked to find out this was happening at a spot she’s passed countless times.

Tallahassee Police Department spokesperson Heather Merritt said it is unclear if foul play is involved.

“It is too early at this time to make that determination,” she wrote in a statement Tuesday.

In a Twitter post Tuesday, TPD said investigators are looking into the intersection of Tram Road near Zillah Street, where construction workers found the remains just after 11 a.m. The construction site is near the 3300 block of Zillah Street, down the road from Fairview Middle School on the city’s south side.

The Twitter post also said early investigations indicate the remains are human.

“Preliminary findings indicate the skeletal remains are human,” the post said. “This is an open and active investigation and updates will be provided as more information becomes available.”

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