DEWITTVILLE, NY – An investigation continues Wednesday after human remains, believed to be a century or more old, were discovered on a Chautauqua County Farm.
“We are not anticipating this being a crime scene, but we are treating it as a crime scene, until we can rule everything out,” explained Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone.
Sheriff Quattrone says contractors installing a septic system for a new house on Country Ayre Farms in Dewittville made the find on Tuesday afternoon.
“Upon our arrival, there was a skull and some other human remains, mainly bone fragments that were found where they were doing the digging,” said Quattrone. “The skull was approximately three feet under the ground.”
The Mercyhurst Forensic Anthropology Department is now assisting the law enforcement agency in determining the age of the remains, which are likely part of an old grave site.
“This is the site of the old County Farm, so it could be back into the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s,” continued Quattrone. “Just a short distance from the location is a Potter’s Field where many of the residents who stayed on the farm were buried.”
The property was once the “County Poor House” and an insane asylum, where nearby towns would send the unwell and unfortunate.
“We’ll be discussing this with the District Attorney, going through, but likely will be ruling out criminal behavior due to the age of the skull, the property, and the history of the property,” said Quattrone.
Nevertheless, the Sheriff’s Office is doing their due diligence to make sure the find isn’t connected to one of the many missing persons cases in the county.
“Unfortunately, as we know, there’s been too many missing people that have not been located. We wanna be able to make sure that that’s not related to any of our missing people in the county or missing people throughout the states,” says Quattrone.