Investigators bringing in specialists to help with excavation of unearthed remains in Palm Coast

Community warned to avoid area or risk committing a felony

Flagler excavation (Provided by Flagler County Sheriff's Office)

Days after human remains were unearthed during construction in the area of a Palm Coast development, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday that the excavation of the remains is being put on pause until specialists can be brought in to help.

The Sheriff’s Office said that around 4:45 p.m. Monday, deputies got a report from Eden’s Site Development about the discovery of what was believed to be a human bone at a residential building site in the Toscana Community on Old Kings Road.

Investigators came out and photographed the bone for the medical examiner, who determined it was indeed human.

Deputies then responded to the scene at New Leatherwood Drive and found more skeletal remains in the freshly excavated area. The Medical Examiner responded and collected the skeletal human remains, but the investigation is ongoing.

A number of skeletal bones and fragments have been recovered, and Flagler County detectives have been consulting with the University of South Florida Anthropology Department during the excavation.

USF has extensive experience and specialized equipment in conducting large-scale excavations. In 2014, USF led the excavation of bodies at Florida’s infamous Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys. A team from USF along with specialized equipment is anticipated to arrive on Tuesday, July 26 to assist Flagler County investigators.

“Because of the size of the construction site, the number of large piles and the amount of dirt that has been moved around throughout the site we needed specialized equipment and a faster process,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “USF developed specialized equipment and experience during the excavation at the boy’s school and offered to assist. Their equipment should greatly speed up the process and ensure no remains are missed.”

The Sheriff’s Office is working to identify the remains and determine a cause of death.

“We are going to remain on scene until we are able to determine the identity of the person and exactly what happened,” Staly said. “At this time we won’t know how these remains got there or if this was a homicide, natural death or suicide. We will do everything we can to identify the remains and bring closure to a family.”

During the temporary pause, FCSO deputies will remain on-site 24 hours a day to secure the area and FCSO equipment. The public is reminded that the area is considered a crime scene and anyone trying to enter the site will be arrested on a felony charge.