Human remains in Sturgis thought to be quite old

Southwest Michigan
sturgis skeletal remains found

The area in Sturgis where old skeletal remains were found on July 9, 2019.

STURGIS, Mich. (WOOD) — The human skeletal remains discovered in Sturgis Tuesday morning are believed to be very old, police said, and not linked to any crimes.

The remains were found around 11 a.m. near S. Nottawa Street and Bogen Road, Sturgis Public Safety Director Geoffrey Smith told reporters Tuesday afternoon, according to WNDU out of South Bend, Indiana.

Smith said construction workers found the remains somewhere between 4 and 15 deep while digging with heavy equipment.

Sturgis police called in Michigan State Police Crime Lab technicians and anthropologists from Western Michigan University to help investigate, and the experts soon said it appears the remains are quite old.

“Whether that’s Native American, whether that’s homesteaders … until they’re carbon-dated, we won’t know for sure. But I guess the good news so far is that they’re pretty sure it’s nothing recent,” Smith said.

He said experts said the remains aren’t those of a 6-year-old girl and are “far too old to be from 1997,” apparently ruling out the possibility that they belong to Brittney Beers, who vanished in Sturgis in 1997 and has never been found.

Smith said anthropologists from WMU will take the remains for testing. He said the experts may ask workers to stop digging or use specific practices if more remains are found, but he had few details about that aspect of the situation.

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