Human remains dug up on building site

An inquest case has been opened after a skull was found on a building site in Addo.
An inquest case has been opened after a skull was found on a building site in Addo.
Image: Supplied

A skull and a few bones found on a building site in Addo will be sent for analysis in the hopes of uncovering the identity of the person who was buried in a shallow grave.

The remains were found while an excavation team was breaking ground to build additional facilities at an Addo school.

Workers stumbled onto the shallow grave – containing only a skull and a few bones - in Jakaranda Street, at about 10.30am on Friday (18/05/18).

Police said that it could take months, or even years, for them to identify the person by means of forensic evidence.

Police spokeswoman Captain Gerda Swart said the site had been temporarily shut down while police forensic experts and detectives were called to the scene.

“They are excavating the land for a school and are in the process of digging and laying the foundations.

“While doing this, the builders stumbled on to human remains. A skull and several bones, believed to be human, were found.

“It is not a full body,” she said.

“Our experts were sent to the scene and collected several bones.
“These are going to be taken to our forensic laboratory to be analysed.”

An architect, who did not want to be named said: “On site, one of the contractors discovered the bones and the skull as they were busy excavating the area to allow for new classrooms to be built.

“As the [excavator] dug, a human skull protruded from a grave about 2m deep, forcing them to stop and contact the police.

“The guys on the site are quite shaken because the place is a residential area and the school is surrounded by government RDP houses.”

Swart said a general survey of the area had been undertaken and no further remains had been found.

“We cannot speculate as to the cause of death at this time. Based on the remains being in the skeletal form, the time of death is thought to possibly be years ago,” she said.

“Our forensic experts will try various methods to determine the identity of the person.”

Swart said detectives were also going through various missing persons reports to see if any leads could be found.

Asked if the remains were believed to be of an adult or child, female or male, Swart said that would only be determined by forensic results.

An inquest case was opened.