HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (WTOC) - Bones believed to be more than 100 years old were found in Hilton Head, and now the coroner's office is trying to determine who the bones belonged to.
A pathologist for Beaufort County believes the bones belonged to a child around 10 to 15 years old. They were found last week by a USC Beaufort anthropology class while there were cleaning out a 169-year-old crypt on the island.
The Baynard Mausoleum was built by a slave owner before the Civil War, and had been empty for more than a century.
The coroner's office said it's hard to determine how long the bones have been inside the mausoleum.
"We have about 12 here from a single child, at an age about 10 years old. We do not have a cause of death," said Dr. Roger Sorg, Beaufort County Deputy Coroner.
"It's not surprising to find bones in a mausoleum for the most part, but it was surprising here, only because nobody has been entered here for so many years and we weren't expecting any remains," said Kimberly Cavanagh, Anthropology Assistant Professor, USCB.
The coroner's office is working with a forensic anthropologist from Charleston to see if they can determine the age of the bones, and who the bones belonged to.