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Bones unearthed in Stockade yard

Bones unearthed in Stockade yard

Schenectady police are investigating bones found buried in the lawn of a home on Church Street in th
Bones unearthed in Stockade yard
Police are investigating a set of bones found in the backyard of a home in Schenectady's historic Stockade district Saturday. It is unknown yet whether they're human or how long they've been buried. (Kyle Adams/Gazette Reporter)

Schenectady police are investigating bones found buried in a lawn behind a historic home on Church Street in the Stockade today.

The bones were uncovered by a contractor who was digging a hole for a fence post at 14 N. Church St., according to Lt. Mark McCracken.

Police don’t yet know if the bones are human or how they ended up there.

The bones were initially found Monday by the contractor, who took them home to his show his wife, who is a nurse and suggested they may be human, McCracken said.

He then returned them to the yard where they were found. When the homeowner returned today and was notified, she contacted police.

McCracken said the bones were “tied into the root system” of a tree in the yard, and were uncovered about 12 to 18 inches deep as the contractor was cutting through the roots for the fence post.

“The tree is very, very large, very old,” he said. “We don’t know how long they’ve been there.”

The bones were recovered by the Crime Scene Collection Unit have been sent for a forensic exam, he said.

McCracken said the homeowner is cooperating with the investigation.

The house was built in 1665 by Jan Janse Jonckers, and bears a plaque declaring it “the oldest house in the city.”

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