For the second time in two months, workers digging in Santa Ana, California, have discovered interred bones believed to be of Native American origin.
Staff members of the Santa Ana Public Works Department were digging beneath a sidewalk when they discovered the bones buried in the ground about 4 feet deep, according to the Santa Ana Police Department.
The discovery was made around 9 a.m. on Oct. 27 in the 1600 block of West Borchard Avenue near Rene Drive, a few blocks west of Mater Dei High School.
Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna told The Epoch Times that the workers were repairing underneath the sidewalk when they found “possibly ancient Indian bones.”
“They were doing some repair to pipes underneath sidewalks—some type of sewer line or something,” Bertagna said.
The workers notified the authorities, who sent Santa Ana homicide detectives and the Orange County Coroner to the scene.
“Based on the fact that they believed that they were Indian bones, the bones were turned or handed over to the Coroner’s Office to deal with,” Bertagna said. “There’s nothing to show that it was criminal.”
Orange County Supervising Deputy Coroner Kelly Keyes confirmed to The Epoch Times that the bones “were determined to be Native American remains.”
“Anthropological markers” were used to determine the bones were of Native American heritage, Keyes said.
“Our primary issue is determining if they were of forensic value or not, and they were determined to be Native American and therefore not of forensic value,” Keyes said.
Once the bones were determined to be of no forensic value, the remains were no longer subjected to further testing, according to Keyes.
“Based on the way that they were laid to rest, and what she saw from the bones, they believed that they were Indian bones,” Bertagna said. “Apparently back in history this was Indian land.”
Keyes said the bones will be turned over to the Native American Heritage Commission, which will arrange for the “most likely descendant” to properly handle the remains.
The discovery was made just over a month after construction workers found buried human remains while digging under a streetcar maintenance yard site on West Fifth Street in Santa Ana.
Authorities determined the bones unearthed on Sept. 16 were more than a century old and also from someone of Native American heritage.