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Ancient Indian Bones Found

March 10, 1993

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (AP) _ Five years after finding three human skeletons buried beneath a house he was repairing, David Mack decided to tell the police. They came running when they realized the house once belonged to drug dealers.

But the bones turned out to be American Indian skeletons more than 1,000 years old.

″Off and on, it had bothered me that it was there and if I should notify someone,″ Mack said.

When he uncovered the bones, the homeowner told him they were Indian skeletons. Mack said he thought that was plausible since the house was near Black Hawk State Park, former home of the Sauk and Illini tribes.

The now-demolished house stood on a lot along the Rock River and was owned by a couple who pleaded guilty to drug and money laundering charges in 1989.

When authorities were told of the find, they figured ″anything was possible,″ said sheriff’s Capt. Richard Fisher. Police unearthed two skeletons Tuesday buried less than a foot below the surface.

Mark Johnsey, a forensic pathologist with the Illinois State Police, estimated the bones to be at least 1,000 years old.

The bones will be taken to Springfield for further study, said state archaeologist Tom Emerson. Researchers will try to determine which tribe might have a claim to them, he said.

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