Families threatening lawsuit over 17 unidentified bodies found n - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Families threatening lawsuit over 17 unidentified bodies found near Clarksville cemetery

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CLARKSVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- A plan to rebury 17 unidentified bodies discovered through a Clarksville road project has families now threatening a lawsuit. 

Descendants of people buried in the Stuart-Emery Cemetery off Blackiston Mill Road want to block a plan by Clarksville town officials to rebury the remains found during a road project in June.

Under the plan, Clarksville would rebury the remains in the Grace-Long Cemetery in a nearby nature preserve.

Families say the area is hard to get to and has issues with vandalism.

"It's a beautiful cemetery. It's been desecrated repeatedly over the years. Lots of vandalism and just the foot path alone is a deterrent," Kathie Miller, a descendant, said.

Descendants of people buried in the Stuart-Emery Cemetery want as many remains returned to the original site as possible.

"We've been told that they could probably put three people each in two of the empty plots that we know are here," Janus Emery-Bowling, a descendant, said.

Some want the 17 people reburied at the Walnut Ridge Cemetery in Jeffersonville.

"We do feel that Walnut Ridge would be the better solution. It is protected. We do have other family members up there," Emery-Bowling said.

The Clarksville Town Manager said officials are trying to work with the families and has repeatedly stated legal issues concerning the remains have made the reburial process complicated.

Family members are working with attorneys preparing to take potential legal action against the Town of Clarksville.

"If that's what's necessary, that's the type of measure we'll have to take," Miller said.

The families are meeting at 10 a.m. on Saturday December 2nd at the Jeffersonville Public Library to discuss how to proceed. Descendants of people buried in the Stuart-Emery Cemetery are asked to attend.

It is unclear when the remains will be reburied.

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