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Human bones found by construction workers in Brooklyn, NYPD says

The Kingsboro Psychiatric Center in Brooklyn is seen

The Kingsboro Psychiatric Center in Brooklyn is seen on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

The human remains unearthed by construction workers near the Kingsboro Psychiatric Center in East Flatbush on Monday appear to be from a forgotten cemetery and are not evidence of a crime, the NYPD said Tuesday.

The bones were identified by a forensic anthropologist with the city medical examiner’s office as human and from at least two individuals, officials said.

The workers found the remains as they made sewer repairs under Clarkson Avenue and East 48th Street, near the Kingsboro Psychiatric Center and Kings County Hospital Center, at about 5 p.m., police said.

The remains were buried about 13 feet underground, they said.

Julie Bolcer, spokeswoman for the medical examiner's office, said a variety of bones were found in the East Flatbush dig, including a skull. Asked if the discovery indicates a graveyard had been unearthed, Boyce said it was a possibility.

“Right now, we think this is a disinterment of a burial site,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said. “We have no leads as far as this is foul play, at all. This looks like these are old bones.”

A spokesman for the state Office of Mental Health in a statement acknowledged the discovery and said the agency was awaiting the results of the police investigation.

Hospital facilities have occupied the sprawling site on the north side of Clarkson for decades. The Kings County Lunatic Asylum opened in 1852 at the site, records show. Adjacent to the old asylum was an Alms House, and eventually more public facilities were built on the property.

The Brooklyn Eagle newspaper reported in 1912 that for decades unidentified deceased people were buried in a common grave known as Potter’s Field somewhere off Clarkson and that Alms House workers for a time were employed as grave diggers.

The asylum was renamed Kingsboro Psychiatric in 1975, according to records.





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