The University of Mississippi Medical Center wanted to build a new parking garage and it wanted to build this new garage east of its dental school. A grove of trees sits there, but trees can be chopped down; their roots bulldozed.
And then, earlier this month, UMMC discovered 1,000 dead bodies in the area — probably patients at the Mississippi State Lunatic Asylum; and all probably dead near a century.
“None have names,” Dr. James Keeton, dean of the medical school, told The Clarion-Ledger .
Reburials would cost about $3 million total, officials told the paper, which the school can't afford.
The news gets worse: "The UMMC ground on which Keeton and Gov. Phil Bryant recently stood to announce construction of the $11 million American Cancer Society Hope Lodge is believed to contain yet more bodies."
The property west of the dental school may also house the bodies of former slaves and victims of tuberculosis and "possibly even Civil War dead."
Officials told the Clarion-Ledger that their building plans would be relocated.