USF researchers helping ID remains found at Palm Coast construction site

A team of anthropologists are piecing together skeletal remains after they were found at a Palm Coast construction site. Investigators believe these bones are from one person.

PALM COAST, Fla. – A team of anthropologists is piecing together skeletal fragments found at a Palm Coast construction site earlier this month.

A team of University of South Florida students is using some specialized equipment to sift through the dirt. The process is both careful and methodical.

So far, they’ve found two femurs, which is the thigh bone.

Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly hopes the anthropologists can help investigators identify the remains of the person. He said the hope is to find a piece that will give investigators extra DNA to ID the remains.

The team of USF researchers led by Dr. Erin Kimmerle is known for its large-scale excavations.

At the site, they’re using the same system that was used in 2014 at Florida’s infamous Dozier School for Boys.

“This is a way to cover a lot of ground, cover a lot of dirt as quick as possible,” Staly said. “We have two screens in these stations. A quarter inch and an eighth inch so we don’t miss any fragments.”

They’re going through dirt from a site that’s about the length of a football field.

Last week, a construction worker called 911 from the Toscana Development saying he thought he found a human femur, which caused all construction to pause.

“We believe this is from somewhere within the last two decades,” Staly said. “It’s not a historical find.”

Meanwhile, Staly said, detectives are looking into cold cases and missing person cases they think geographically could be linked.

“We have some evidence when those missing persons were investigated that would lead us to believe in this area there might be some evidence,” Staly said.

Staly said the team of anthropologists will likely be at the site through Friday.

About the Author:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013. She reports for and anchors The Morning Show.