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Plans to investigate Tulsa Race Massacre mass graves revealed

Posted at 9:57 PM, Jul 18, 2019

Experts say it will be a long process - though they're excited about the progress as they launch their search for suspected mass graves from the Tulsa Race Massacre.

City leaders met tonight - outlining what they'll be looking for.

"All of Greenwood is a crime scene," said Reverend Robert Turner.

The second Tulsa Race Massacre public oversight meeting showed us just what lies ahead - and the challenges experts face in finding potential mass graves.

"I want them to know what our collective goals were for the remains because the issue is to return them to some level of the home," said forensic anthropologist Phoebe Stubblefield.

Stubblefield - among those experts - spoke about difficulties in recovering evidence of the massacre, because they're fighting decomposition, as well as the challenge of how to find those remains in the three initial locations.

That includes searching for the metal in the ground that would be buried with the bodies - a technique that can cover a large area in a short amount of time.

Also, experts can look at the soil and even shoot radar into the ground to find what's been dug up - and what could be buried.

"I'm just now hoping that everyone can wait for the process to produce results and I believe it will," Stubblefield said.

After the experts spoke, people from the general public were able to speak, ask questions, and share comments and concerns.

Those experts say that period alone is a huge improvement over meetings in the past 20 years.

"Just the ability to hear their frustration is such an improvement and I'm willing to go with hearing some frustration," Stubblefield said.

But one of the biggest takeaways - the public is still needed. The stories from survivors, and any clues that lead to where more graves could be hidden - could provide major breakthroughs going forward.

"Any ethnicity or heritage you come from, you care about life, justice, and truth," Turner said.

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