The search for truth in a graveyard for boys

Ben Montgomery in Miami Herald:

BC-LOST-BONES-PART1-TBT_01The pressure on Kimmerle, 40, was intense. The associate professor of forensic anthropology was scorned by some academics, watched by Panhandle lawmakers. County officials complained about the bad publicity. The local newspaper publisher called her work “this greed motivated waste of money.” Some locals even wanted her arrested.

In town, she noticed the sideways glances. Her colleague swore somebody was following her. They didn’t know whom they could trust.

Kimmerle knew the risks. What if she didn’t find anything? What if it was a waste of money?

They started with shovels, then trowels. The first hole they’d dug was empty, nothing but Jackson County clay. But, now, on the third day of digging, a graduate student got Kimmerle’s attention. Her eyes were wide.

“Want to come take a look?”

Kimmerle descended into the open grave.

The months to come would bring protests and press conferences, more threats and a massive search for a second cemetery. Kimmerle would come close to breaking. She’d find more bodies than anybody expected. She’d find an empty casket. She’d find a hundred more questions.

Now, though, in early September 2013, at the bottom of the grave, she brushed away the earth.

There in the dirt was a perfect set of baby teeth.

Read more here.