Did Hurricane Nicole unearth a Native American burial ground? Hurricane Nicole made landfall as a category 1 hurricane early morning Thursday, November 10. The storm may have unearthed a Native American burial ground. Beachgoers found SIX skulls and other body parts in Martin County after inspecting impacts of the storm.
The bones are expected to be at least 200 years old, according to the medical examiner in Martin County. This leads investigators to believe that they belong to Indigenous people. NBC News reported that this isn’t the first time remains of Native Americans have been found after a storm. More bones of Native Americans were found in the same area after Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and Hurricane Dorian in 2019.
Martin County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy John Budensiek stated that based on other findings, they believe the area is likely an old Native American burial site. To help preserve the history of the area and the bodies, the county is very careful about searching for more remains. Budensiek commented “We are not exploring and digging any further into the area where the remains were found. We only recovered what’s been exposed by the water.”
The Martin County Sheriff’s office has been in contact with the Seminole Nation of Florida about the discovery. If the site is a confirmed Native burial ground, then it is federally protected. Budensiek stated that anyone who attempts to disturb the area will be met with criminal charges.