Cemetery remains still mystery

The identity of the person or people whose remains were uncovered in an unmarked grave in the Cromwell Cemetery earlier this year is still a mystery.

The remains were estimated to be between 80 and 100 years old and the Central Otago District Council sought information from the public to help solve the mystery.

Council parks and recreation manager Mat Begg said while some information had been received, more would be appreciated.

"We had four inquiries but unfortunately none of these provided any further leads on ...  the remains."

They were discovered when a pine tree was removed from the northeast corner of the cemetery in April. Clearing work on that section of the cemetery was permanently  halted as a result of the find.

There were no recorded burials nearby but  the cemetery had  a "pauper section" containing  unknown remains,  Mr Begg said.

The council had been working with Heritage New Zealand on a process to check for any other remains at the site and then to bury them again on the current site.

He hoped those checks would be finished and reinterring completed by the end of this month. Until the checks were finished, the council could not say whether the remains were  of one person or more.

Asked if there would be some sort of ceremony when the remains were reburied, Mr Begg said the council was "working through a process for reinterring the remains and will determine if a ceremony is appropriate".

The human remains were being held by an archaeologist, Mr Begg said.

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