Origin of skeletal remains found in Wall Township remains unclear but could date to the 1800s

County prosecutors still have not said if the skeletal remains were human – but witnesses tell News 12 contractors unearthed the remains of two adults and a child.

Jim Murdoch

Mar 14, 2024, 9:31 PM

Updated 35 days ago

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A Native American burial ground? A farmer’s loved ones? Something more sinister? The mystery surrounding the bones found in Wall Township this week by crews building a home continues.
County prosecutors still have not said if the skeletal remains were human – but witnesses tell News 12 New Jersey that as contractors from Grosso Homes dug about five to seven feet of dirt, they unearthed the remains of two adults and a child.
One of those bones – a jawbone, with teeth – was uncovered in the dirt. Police were on the scene until Wednesday evening guarding the area. This section of Wall Township is known as Manasquan Shores and contains streets with Native American names. A historian tells News 12 that while the Lenape Indians summered there, they were not permanent residents, preferring to farm further inland on better soil.
An 1873 map of Wall Township from the Historical Society shows the region as it appeared to the early settlers and founders. Back then it was mostly farms. Wall Township approved a subdivision in 1927 of the plot of land now at the center of the investigation. A small 744-square-foot Cape Cod home was built in 1940 and remained until 2018. The home was demolished and the land was purchased by a couple who just celebrated the groundbreaking on their new construction earlier this month.
The bones remain a mystery, however, the historian tells News 12 it was not uncommon for farmers to bury loved ones without any markers.
Crews removed truckloads of dirt Wednesday night to be closely examined by county forensics. Test results on those bones could take quite some time, sources close to the investigation tell News 12.
Grosso Homes was given the all-clear to restart construction on Friday. The new owner tells News 12 he is looking forward to his new home and is glad the delay did not last longer.


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