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What's next in search for mass graves

Posted at 6:19 PM, Dec 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-17 19:19:07-05

TULSA, Okla. — Scientists are beginning to form answers surrounding where mass graves may be located from the 1921 Tulsa race massacre.

But the team doing the research is taking their time, every step of the way. When they revealed the findings to the public for the first time, they showed scans with indications of possible mass graves at two separate locations - Oaklawn Cemetery and a spot near I-244 and the Arkansas River that researchers call "The Canes".

"The magnitude of what was revealed by the scientists last night, there's just no words for it," said Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission Director Phil Armstrong. "Enough information has been provided to verify we should go back and explore more."

Armstrong and the team investigating possible mass graves are piecing together what lies beneath the surface while treating the scenes with the respect they deserve.

"For anyone that was thinking this would go quickly, and we'll find them, and I've heard people ask if we're going to dig up the bodies, they're not even at that decision making process yet," Armstrong said. "We've come a long way to get to this point, and what I've heard from many is, let's do it the right way."

Armstrong says the next step is to further investigate the anomalies revealed Monday night. Those details are being worked out now, and Armstrong says it will take time, but patience could pay off with answers down the road.

There's a fourth area that researchers haven't been able to scan yet - Rolling Oaks Memorial Gardens. It's private property, so they're working on getting permission.

The public oversight committee will meet again Feb. 3 to discuss next steps in the overall investigation.

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