Police dig up bodies at Plymouth cemetery in attempt to identify Detroit homicide victims

Murder cases date back to 1959

PLYMOUTH, Mich. – Police exhumed bodies from a Plymouth Township cemetery Wednesday in an attempt to identify homicide victims in cases dating back to 1959.

Authorities are trying to identify 13 bodies at United Memorial Gardens in connection with Detroit murder cases. The bodies were never claimed from the morgue.

The Detroit Police Department, Michigan State Police, the FBI and other agencies are working to get DNA samples from the bodies.

"It's hard to work a homicide case when you don't have the name of your victim, so the goal today is not only discover who the names of these victims are," said Sgt. Shannon Jones, with Detroit police. "I'm sure some of them are reported missing. They may be from here or out of state."

Wednesday's dig is an extension of the Operation UNITED program that started in May at the Knollwood Cemetery in Canton Township.

The dig will continue Thursday.

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