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Several bodies still unidentified in cemetery impacted by 2016 flood

4 years 3 months 4 days ago Tuesday, February 20 2018 Feb 20, 2018 February 20, 2018 7:39 PM February 20, 2018 in News
Source: WBRZ

DENHAM SPRINGS - About 15 cemetery vaults still sit above the ground at Plainview Cemetery in Livingston Parish.

They were pushed out of their graves during the 2016 flood.

"We had a record problem and identity problems," Plainview Cemetery Board member Fred Banks said. "Some of these were old graves that have been here for a long period of time."

The only thing indicating who's inside are plaques with the gender of the person and a state ID number. Names are unknown.

"Some of these washed out of caskets and we tried every means to identify them," Banks said.

Plainview was the worst-hit cemetery in the state by the flood, with more than 240 graves disturbed. The damage ranged from minor to entire vaults removed from the ground.

"Caskets, bodies, vaults were all over the place."

All but the last 15 have been identified and reinterred.

Even with the help of a state archeologist and the FACES lab at LSU, the bodies in these 15 vaults still could not be identified.

"We're going to set a section of the cemetery up. It's going to be called the unknown section and we are going to bury these 15 in that one section," Banks said.

But they will have to wait a little longer. Because the ground at Plainview is still too wet to rebury the vaults.

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