New Historian

Human Remains Found at Colorado Construction Site

American Indian Woman

<![CDATA[The remains of a young American Indian woman have been discovered at a construction site just outside of Colorado Springs, with early analysis indicating that the remains are possibly thousands of years old. According to a statement released by the local police department, workers at the site of the discovery, the still under-construction Ventana subdivision in the city of Fountain located in El Paso County, uncovered the body in the midst of a drainage pipe installation on Old Pueblo Road. Upon arriving at the scene police investigators spotted the skull near where it had been found, sitting on the ground. The worker who initially stumbled across the remains reported to Fountain Police that he had simply removed it from its resting place to identify it before placing it back in close proximity to where it had originally been unearthed. Police investigators were initially concerned that a possible homicide had been uncovered by the construction workers, prompting a full forensic investigation. Originally, the El Paso County Coroner’s Office determined that the skull belonged to either a Native American or Hispanic female, and that it had likely been buried for anywhere between 50 and 75 years. However, the determination of age was corrected within 48 hours of the discovery when Thomas Carr, an archaeologist for the state of Colorado, arrived on the scene to conduct a more specialized examination. Carr investigated the remains, making the determination that they were ancient, dating from anywhere between several hundreds of years in the past to even several thousands of years. This easily pre-dates European settlement not only in the region but in the Americas in general. Once the police were satisfied that the skull was from an ancient death, they closed their investigation and turned it over to Carr and the state of Colorado in full. Once Carr’s investigations were concluded – failing to discover any other human remains in the dig site in the process - the skull was transported to the History Colorado Center. According to the Fountain Police Department, the final step will be to repatriate the skull for reburial once the Native American tribe the woman belonged to has been identified; at that time the remains will be returned to officials from the tribe in question. Carr says that the skull likely belonged to a younger woman, perhaps even a child between the ages of 12 and 16 years old. Based on his deductions, the young woman was given a proper burial on the land at the time of her death. Sheyna Marshall, a Fountain Police Department detective, remarked in an interview with the Colorado Springs Gazette that the police department was quite excited by the discovery. However, she stressed that the first priority was to do the right thing by identifying the remains and treating them with the respect they deserve – especially repatriating them to the proper Native American tribe. ]]>

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