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1921 Graves Investigation Update

Posted at 10:31 PM, Jun 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-22 09:32:57-04

TULSA, OK — The Public Oversight Committee for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Graves Investigation met virtually Tuesday evening with technical experts to discuss the DNA analysis work and discuss next steps in the investigation.  

According to the City of Tulsa they are working with Intermountain Forensics to complete the DNA analysis from last summer’s excavation in Oaklawn Cemetery.

The first phase of analysis is complete and found two out of 14 individuals have viable DNA to begin genealogy processing. Experts said the age of the remains created some challenges to extract viable DNA, but they are hopeful the two male individuals produced enough viable DNA for further analysis. Intermountain Forensics is working with technical experts to identify further viable DNA samples.  

The City of Tulsa says in the near future, the city will plan further excavation at Oaklawn Cemetery to continue the City’s search for 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre victims.

In addition to the excavation, the City will also be exploring options for coring work at Newblock Park and the nearby Canes site for further geoarchaeological analysis. A date has yet to be determined for this work. The city has $1 million budgeted for the upcoming work in Fiscal Year 2023.  

The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Public Oversight Committee will meet again next quarter.  


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