Evansville, Ind. (WEHT)– The unmarked grave search continued today in Wessleman Park and this time, the Daughters of the American Revolution some help from four legged friends.
A group of cadaver dogs assisted with the search, and took turns roaming through the grass. Terry Settle, his team of handlers, and cadaver dogs spent hours searching the grass. Settle says the dogs can still sniff where the bodies laid, even over 100 years ago.
“It is because of their strong sense of smell. The scent is moving all the time. It is underground and it is coming up. It is going up the trees and roots, and all that, and goes up the tree,” he says.
The group originally thought there were 30 unmarked graves at the site. Today, we are told the dogs found at least 47.
“It’s amazing what the dogs can smell,” Settle says.
This is the second time the Daughters of the American Revolution has searched the McCallister’s Cemetery. Last month, they served with dowsing rods.
“It was cool to watch the dogs hit the same locations to confirm those gravesites we had been searching for so long,” says Cheri Baumberger, East Central Division Chairman at the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.
Baumberger is one of the people organizing the searches. She call’s today’s search a success.
“It is rewarding to be able to preserve this area and know that in the future, it is will not be a loss and overdeveloped. It will remain a cemetery, which is what the McCallister family wanted it to be,” she says.
The group is planning for a third search with Mike Strezewski, an anthropology professor at the University of Southern Indiana. He will use equipment like a ground penetrating radar to confirm the locations where the dogs and dowsing rods hit on. The group says they plan to mark the grave sites, place an additional marker next to the original one, and fence in the area to honor those buried there.
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