News

Couple face huge bill after finding 500-year-old skeleton on property

By Barbara Simpson, Sarnia Observer

SARNIA, Ont. — A Point Edward, Ont., couple has been stuck with a $7,500 bill after finding a human skeleton while putting in a fence in their backyard.

Police were called when the couple came across the bones a couple of weeks ago.

A forensic anthropologist concluded the bones were those of an aboriginal woman who was no older than 24 years old when she died sometime in the late 1500s or early 1600s.

And while Nicole Sauve and her husband Ken Campbell are excited by the discovery, they aren’t so thrilled about the bill. They since learned they’re responsible for paying for an archeological assessment to determine the origin and extent of the burial ground.

“I’m devastated by it,” Sauve said. “I did the right thing. I could have covered her back up.”

Sauve said she isn’t sure how her family will afford it.

“Am I to go to the bank and get a loan?” she said. “Who has $10,000 in the bank to be able to afford to have someone come over and dig a hole?”

Local registrar Michael D’Mello said the couple can apply to the municipality to cover the costs.

Members of nearby Aamjiwnaang First Nation have since visited the site for a special ceremony.

It’s yet to be determined where the skeleton’s final resting place will be located, but Sauve says she’s more than willing to continuing hosting the bones in her backyard.


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