Death records found for unmarked graves discovered at UMMC - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Death records found for unmarked graves discovered at UMMC

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

One Mississippi family, searching for answers and closure after the death of their grandmother in a Jackson mental hospital, hoped new reports would shed light on the thousands of bodies found buried under UMMC's campus. 

READ MORE: Up to 7,000 former insane asylum patients buried on UMMC campus

Lizzie Bond Neyland's descendants have been searching their entire lives for answers and those answers that are just now coming to light after a construction project at UMMC came across upwards of 7,000 unmarked graves on its campus.

RELATED: Family believes grandmother could be one of thousands buried under UMMC

Wednesday, the family found out that their grandmother is one of the bodies uncovered at the hospital. 

"We may never be able to exhume everybody that's buried on the campus," said Dr. Ralph Didlake, director of UMMC's Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities. "There has been some construction, decades ago, over bodies and we don't know if we will be able to exhume everybody that's there."

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History has transcribed over 4,000 handwritten death records and uploaded them to their website, which they clarify could have some accuracy issues since the documents were all handwritten.

You can search that archive here.

Lizzie's death record matches in every aspect except age.

"We are working on a website portal where individuals can give us information, names, demographics, data and even upload documents, photographs, birth certificates," said Dr. Didlake.

The names of those buried may not be on the list yet.

Dr. Didlake says there are groups still transcribing records and he believes there could be more bodies than records.

There are, also, some hiccups with the project. Currently, researchers can only dig up remains and move them in the cemetery's parameter. They want to eliminate that boundary so the remains can be studied. 

There are funding issues, which will be brought before lawmakers next year. Those funding issues are expected to carry a $21 million price tag. 

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