If it’s, say, 1980, and you’re trying to get rid of a dead body, burying it at the foundation level of a brand-new condo complex going up over the reported site of an ancient cemetery might sound like a perfect after-offing disposal plan. But in Houston, you never know what’s going to get dug up next. HPD detective Carlos Cardenas tells Chronicle reporter Mike Glenn he doesn’t think the partial skeleton unearthed by construction workers yesterday on the site of the recently demolished Park Memorial Condominiums at 5292 Memorial Dr. (pictured above in a late stage of assisted decomposition) belongs to the native American graveyard reported to have existed there previously.
Forensic testing should give a clearer answer, but the circumstances of the body’s burial appear to tell a story on their own: The human remains were discovered along Chandler St. near Arnold, at the far northeastern corner of the complex, wedged between a retaining wall and a concrete slab that workers were taking out. The body was likely concealed there when the Park Memorial Condos were built, police detectives tell Glenn.
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That would be approximately 31 years ago. But dead-body rumors persisted. “I remember the controversy of the condos being built on top of a graveyard,” a self-described native Houstonian wrote Swamplot last month. “Could that be the reason those buildings failed???” At last report the 5- and 6-story, 372-unit apartment structure JLB Partners is putting up on the Rice Military site was planning to keep the name of the doomed courtyard complex it will be replacing. “Park Memorial Apartments” would seem to fit.
- Human remains unearthed at construction site [Houston Chronicle]
- Skeletal remains unearthed at construction site [abc13]
- Park Memorial Condominiums coverage [Swamplot]
Photos: David Hille