Watch: 174 Human Bones Recovered on Hart Island’s Shore This Week

Despite officials saying that there wasn’t a problem with human remains being exposed on Hart Island, officials this past Monday recovered 174 bones on the shores of the world’s largest mass grave where the poorest of the poor and unclaimed are interred just off City Island and Orchard Beach.

Last month we reported on two stories which claimed that bones were washing up on the shores of City Island and Orchard Beach and were told by NYC Parks that that wasn’t the case nor that anyone had reported such a thing but this week’s discovery just further solidifies the claims that indeed it is possibly happening.

A spokesperson for NYC Parks last month said, “This report is false. There is no instance of human bones appearing on the shore of Orchard Beach, and the City has received no such complaints.”

However, others claimed it was true and even commented on Welcome2TheBronx that they had come across what appeared to be a human femur on Orchard Beach once.

CBS News reports:

Hart Island is only open to visitors by appointment months in advance. Last week, Hunt and a photographer captured pictures from a boat, showing bones scattered among the rocks.

Suddenly this week, officials fast-tracked the process.

Video from WCBS-TV’s helicopter shows red flags marking spots where archaeologists have found human remains. Once identified, the remains will be reburied by Rikers Island prisoners.

“Why in the world would an agency that’s managing our jails have anything to do with this island?” city Councilmember Mark Levine asked.

Levine wants to transfer control of the island to the city Department of Parks and Recreation, so families could freely visit graves of loved ones without an armed guard.

“It’s simply wrong that people who are neglected in life, who were marginalized in life in the city, are now getting the same treatment in this burial ground,” he said.

The city must ask fast on this and Councilmember Levine is correct in asking why Corrections is managing this island and not some other agency like parks.

People have a right to visit the graves of their loved ones without hindrance.

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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.