Stafford County family finds human remains dug up on their prope - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Stafford County family finds human remains dug up on their property

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(Photo: Beth Parker / FOX 5 WTTG) (Photo: Beth Parker / FOX 5 WTTG)

A Virginia family made a surprising discovery this weekend -- human remains.

They knew there was an old family cemetery on their property. But now, some of those bones have been dug up.

When you buy a piece of land like this -- four acres -- you never know what you are going to find.

“All of sudden, we saw over here what appeared to be a turtle shell,” said homeowner Ruth Henry.

But it wasn't a turtle shell they spotted while out walking in the backyard with their kids. What they found was a human skull.

Henry quickly snapped a photo and sent it to her sister who is an archaeologist.

“She immediately wrote back and said, 'Yes, it's human,’” Henry said.

Ruth, her husband and children live in the Stefaniga area of central Stafford. The original farm house is gone.

When the Henrys bought the property, they fenced in the small family cemetery.

It's an eerie spot with a tree that creaks it the wind.

“We have some friends that have been a little weirded out by it, but that's OK,” said Henry. “They don't bother anybody.”

When they first moved in, it was overgrown. They cleaned it up this fall and now think animals dug these big holes and the bones.

“We have a family of groundhogs that run about all the time in the summer and they're fat and happy,” Henry said.

They found this too.

“Because it's got rotten wood stuck in here, it's probably the handle to a casket,” she said.

She continued, “There are people here. This is someone's sacred burial ground. It's somebody's family, somebody's father, grandfather.”

A Stafford detective checked out the scene this weekend.

“First and foremost, we'd like to make sure we take care of the remains,” said Henry. “It's our home and I’d like to think that when I'm gone and my children are gone, that people will come back and be interested in what we were doing in this day and age.”

A member of the Stafford County Cemetery Committee told FOX 5 that they believe there are about 10 people buried at the site. They may have the last name Coleman or Randall.

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