New MCSO headquarters being built on old graveyard

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Remains were found in caskets near Fifth Avenue and Madison Street. By Jennifer Thomas Remains were found in caskets near Fifth Avenue and Madison Street. By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Crews working at the site of the new headquarters for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in downtown Phoenix found human remains on Monday.

The remains were found in caskets near Fifth Avenue and Madison Street. Officials believe the site is an old cemetery dating back to the late 1800s.

Crews were laying the foundation for the new MCSO administration offices when several caskets were unearthed.

County officials won't say how many caskets were found, but they did say some were empty and others contained human remains.

Officials said the area where the caskets were found has been marked off and construction will continue around that marked area.

The unknown cemetery is not on any maps, but a Phoenix historian said in the 1920s the cemetery was moved from the area because it was the first thing people saw when they arrived at the downtown train station.

An archeology firm has been hired to handle the caskets.