HAMBURG, IOWA(KPTM)-- A worker at the Hamburg Cemetery in Hamburg, Iowa found a set of bones when he was digging a new grave, according to the Fremont County Sheriff's Office.
The gravedigger found the bones Wednesday, February 15th, but deputies say he didn't report the find until the next morning. Instead, they say he buried the new casket and replaced the bones on top of it.
That has some residents worried.
"If there was someone here in town who can find a body and not report it, what else are they capable of?" asked one resident who wished to remain anonymous in fear of getting in trouble with her employer.
But it turns out there's a fairly reasonable explanation for the delay in reporting the find.
"It's not that unusual in a cemetery," said Fremont County Deputy Tim Bothwell.
He explained that gravediggers sometimes find older bones that turn out to be from Native Americans or Home Steaders--centuries of years old.
The gravedigger reported the bones the next morning.
"He got to thinking about the newness of the bones which is what concerned him. I guess the bones he usually runs into there's usually a coffin or some sort of identifiable for the buried," said Bothwell.
The next morning still isn't soon enough for some people.
"It was a double burial. The new body should not have been buried in the same hole. It should have been reported before the new body was put in,"
Fremont County called in a medical examiner to exhume the bones and an archeologist from the University of Iowa.
The medical examiner thinks the bones belong to a young adult. They don't know a gender and aren't sure yet how old the bones themselves actually are.
"We're concerned that this could be a homicide that happened earlier in the century or even up into the 50's or so, but it could have been a homesteader that just buried their family member there," said Bothwell.
The sheriff's office says deputies are looking into some cold and current cases to rule out to rule out any possibilities.
Results from the medical examiner and archeologist are expected to be ready in about a month.