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More than 1K corpses found at former mental asylum

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Mississippi State Lunatic Asylum (Credit: Mississippi State Hospital)

JACKSON, Miss. — While testing a site to build a parking garage for the University of Mississippi Medical Center, workers discovered the bodies of more than 1,000 people believed to patients from the former Mississippi State Lunatic Asylum, according to the Clarion Ledger.

According to the report, the discovery was made last week.

Given that the asylum was moved from the site in 1935, the bodies have been there for at least the better portion of 100 years, according to historians.

Hospital officials told the Clarion Ledger none of the bodies have been identified.

Dr. James Keeton, dean of the medical school, said paying for the reburials of all the bodies would cost approximately $3 million. “We can’t afford that,” he said.

Given the high cost to rebury the bodies, school officials say they will likely leave them where they are currently buried and move the proposed parking garage to another site.

The Mississippi State Lunatic Asylum opened on the site in 1855, housing 150 patients. Following the end of the Civil War, the mental facility expanded to house 300 patients.

Read more: Clarion Ledger

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