Jonestown massacre victims' remains found in Delaware

DOVER, Del. - The cremated remains of nine victims of a 1978 mass cult suicide-murder in Jonestown, Guyana, have turned up in a former funeral home in Delaware, officials said Thursday.

jimjones2314234123344444322.jpg
Cult leader Jim Jones
AP
The state Division of Forensic Science has taken possession of the remains, discovered at the former Minus Funeral Home in Dover, and is working to make identifications and notify relatives, the agency and Dover police said in a statement.

The division last week responded to a request to check the former funeral home after 38 containers of remains were discovered inside. Thirty-three containers were marked and identified. They spanned a period from about 1970 to the 1990s and included the Jonestown remains.

Bodies of 911 massacre victims were brought after the deaths to Dover Air Force Base, home to the U.S. military's largest mortuary.

jonestownmassacre.jpg
This file photo from 1978 shows victims of the Jonestown cult massacre in Jonestown, Guyana. Some 900 followers of Jim Jones' Peoples' Temple committed mass suicide by drinking cyanide-laced fruit punch.
AP

Delaware authorities also conducted an "exploratory excavation" Wednesday on the former funeral home property after finding areas of loosely compacted soil, looking for other unclaimed, cremated remains. They discovered an arrowhead, two animal bones, oyster shells and charcoals.

Searchers also found several bronze gravesite markers for deceased veterans who served in World War I through the Vietnam War.

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.