Last weekend I got to take a little mini vacay to Manhattan. Yup, just a quick jaunt up to the Big Apple! The purpose of the trip was so I could be interviewed by TV One network, on a story I did years ago. When I was a reporter for WHAG in Hagerstown, MD, I covered a story about a missing woman. That woman was Michelle McMullen, a Pennsylvania native who went missing and was later discovered to be a fugitive. It was a story unlike any other I’ve covered, and obviously one that’s stuck with me for years. I appeared on Investigation Discovery’s “Disappeared,” in the episode: “Long Drive Home.” I was super excited to revisit the story and hash it out for another network. And the trip to NYC didn’t hurt The piece will air next summer on TV One. I’ll keep you updated. Click here or here to read previous updates about the Michelle McMullen story.
The other throwback of the trip was visiting old friends…my friends Whitney, Christine and Martin from high school all live Manhattan. What a perfect little getaway!
Here’s my story from today… More than 50 bodies were found at Eastern State Hospital in Lexington… This is the 3rd time bodies have been found. They will now be moved to a cemetery on the hospital grounds. Click on the link to watch the entire story.
On Wednesday, the Finance and Administration Cabinet’s Division of Engineering and a team of archaeologists from the Kentucky Archaeological Survey are scheduled to begin exhuming human remains found in an unmarked cemetery on the grounds of Eastern State Hospital (ESH) in Lexington.
The graves are located where crews are preparing for the scheduled construction of a new Bluegrass Community Technical College (BCTC). The remains are believed to be those of patients at ESH buried between 1840 and 1860.
When Gov. Steve Beshear first announced plans relocate ESH to University of Kentucky’s Coldstream Research Campus and to develop a BCTC campus on the grounds of ESH in February 2008, the Division of Engineering proactively contacted the Kentucky Archaeological Survey, which is jointly administered by the University of Kentucky Department of Anthropology and the Kentucky Heritage Council.. Anticipating the discovery of unmarked graves, the Kentucky Archaeological Survey was hired at that time to survey the grounds in a systematic effort to locate any undocumented cemeteries on the existing hospital grounds.
“Throughout this process, it is important that we preserve the grounds of this historic site and treat any remains discovered with the utmost respect and dignity,” said Gov. Beshear. “Although we may never be able to identify the individuals found, we can still ensure they get a proper burial in the designated Eastern State Hospital Cemetery.”
“This is a very meticulous, systematic approach to ensure the remains are treated with care and respect, and the history of the hospital is fully documented,” said Dr. David Pollack, director of the Kentucky Archaeological Survey. “The Finance Cabinet has also asked for our help in documenting any significant archeological deposits relating to the hospital.”
The process of unearthing the remains is expected to be completed by April 1 unless progress is delayed due to inclement weather. The remains will then be sent to the University of Kentucky’s Laboratory of Archeological Research to be processed and examined then reinterred within the defined cemetery on the hospital grounds.
The Finance Cabinet has improved the previously overgrown and dilapidated cemetery by adding new fencing, a new gated, arched entry with a sign, landscaping and a designated area to consolidate existing memorial plaques.
Pollack predicts more than 50 bodies are buried in an area that measures 25 feet by 150 feet. Some of the shafts may be single graves while others may contain more than one body. Simple wooden coffins were used during the early to mid-nineteenth century. Though most of the wood has since deteriorated, by recording the location of the coffin nails, the size and shape of the coffin can be determined. However, there are no headstones or other markers that could be used to determined the identity of each person.
Due to the age of the remains, Pollack says it will be extremely difficult to associate the bodies with any particular individual because specific death records and historic documents are not available.
The Finance Cabinet architects and engineers and the team of archeologists have also been working closely with BCTC, the Kentucky Heritage Council, Eastern State Hospital Cemetery Club and other preservation organizations in an effort to be sensitive to the historical value of the property and to protect the dignity of the remains.
Eastern State Hospital first admitted patients in 1824 and still houses approximately 150 patients. In 2008, it was agreed that the hospital would relocate to a site off of Newtown Pike and a new BCTC campus would be constructed on the existing grounds. The construction of both facilities and full relocation will occur in 2013.
In 2005, graves were encountered on the Eastern State Hospital property during the construction of a new waterline. At that time, the Kentucky Archaeological Survey recovered the remains of 11 individuals, who subsequently were reinterred in the marked cemetery.
The Finance and Administration Cabinet, Division of Engineering and Contract Administration, provides professional architectural and engineering assistance to state agencies on new construction projects and major renovation or maintenance projects.
Remember the story I did while working in Hagerstown, MD about the woman who mysteriously disappeared? She was found in Martinsburg, WV…then disappeared again. Investigation Discovery interviewed me for the show, “Disappeared” on Michelle McMullen, which is still airing.
Now, McMullen has been found…Working in California.
Harrisburg woman wanted in theft found after 2-year disappearance
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A Harrisburg woman charged with forgery and theft after her 2008 disappearance has been found in California.
Dauphin County prosecutors told abc27 News that Michelle McMullen was taken into custody in San Francisco this week and did not fight her extradition to Pennsylvania. Details of her detainment were not immediately available.
McMullen, 30, was reported missing by her family in September 2008 after dropping off her six-year-old son with a friend in Harrisburg before driving to Louisiana where she was attending college. About a week later, her car was found abandoned near Hagerstown, Maryland.
Susquehanna Township police later announced that they had issued a warrant for McMullen’s arrest after charging her with forgery and the theft of more than $10,000 from a church where she had been an employee.
Police said McMullen had been seen working at a West Virginia hotel in December 2008, but disappeared before investigators arrived.
After the snowmageddon I experienced last year while living in Maryland, I thought I was done with snow. Especially when I moved to the south. How wrong was I!
While I am definitely NOT a winter person, I have enjoyed the beautiful pictures sent in to us at LEX 18! Here are a few of my favorites!
To see more pictures from snow in Lexington, click here!
It’s cold in Kentucky! But at least it’s better than last year’s blizzard in DC. Snowmageddon, snOMG, snowpocalypse, whatever you called it…We were snOVERit. Haha I’m funny right? I worked hard on those.