BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - In late April of 2018, contractors completing work on a Biloxi infrastructure project on U.S. Highway 90 unearthed human bones just south of the wall of the Old Biloxi Cemetery. Work was immediately stopped, the remains were collected and the site was covered.
Contractors have worked around the area but are nearing completion of this section of the project. City of Biloxi Public Affairs Manager Vincent Creel said that while the city, its residents and the contractors are sensitive to the state and federal investigation, answers are overdue.
“People in Biloxi look at it like ‘hey it’s been a year, when can you finish this work?’ People don’t realize that in a lot of cases that on every project we have underway right now, we have hit some sort of obstacle underground that has caused this," Creel said. "It is our solemn hope that we hear back from FEMA in the next few days about a plan of action, and we’re hoping that plan of action does not require a lot more research and a lot more study.”
According to Creel, FEMA is working with the State Historic Preservation Office and the Tribal Historic Preservation Office. The latter is because Creel said that seven tribes of Native American Indians have expressed interest in this area and require notification if anything is found that could be of Native American descent.
He also said that the belief is that, in the early days of Biloxi, the cemetery was much closer to where Highway 90 is now. This could have been part of the early burial grounds that were left unmarked due to hurricanes or other various incidents.