Teams of state and county investigators, along with archeologists from East Carolina University unearthed what lawmen believe are bones from a human leg.
Chief Deputy Brian Hardison with the Washington County Sheriff's office says the bones begin just above the knee and go down.
Charles Ewen is a professor in the Anthropology department at ECU and director of the archeology lab. Ewen says the bones were wrapped in gauze and that they could also be from the lower part of an arm.
The discovery of bones in a shallow grave was made Sunday by a cemetery crew preparing a grave site for a burial near Plymouth in Washington County.
It took all day Monday to carefully dig up the bones, buried about a foot and a half under the surface in a plastic tarp or bag.
The State Bureau of Investigations will work to identify the remains.
Hardison says they have a couple of unsolved missing persons cases in the county, but until they get more information on the bones they'll be unable to connect them to any cases.
Crews preparing a grave site for a burial near Plymouth in Washington County discovered what may be human remains wrapped in plastic in a shallow grave.
Instead of mourners surrounding a grave at Hillside Memorial Gardens, a team of investigators is trying to figure out exactly what a grounds crew found about a foot and a half below the ground.
They were digging Sunday when they found something they didn't expect: Bones in a blue tarp or bag in a grave that was supposed to be empty.
Sheriff's investigators taped off both entrances to the cemetery. Those working the case include the Washington County Sheriff's Office, the State Bureau of Investigations, and an archeology team from East Carolina University.
Investigators say it's too early to speculate on who the bones may have belonged to. At this point they're not even sure if the remains are human.
Investigators say the cemetery staff has been very cooperative and investigators are trying to work quickly to not disrupt burial services scheduled throughout the week.