NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police Tuesday evening said the yard where a subcontractor made found human bones in Richmond Hill, Queens was once a cemetery.

As CBS 2’s Matt Kozar reported, the National Grid worker was digging with a backhoe in the front yard of a home located at 87-52 108th Street — across the street from P.S. 90 — around 11:30 a.m.

At about 3 feet deep, the subcontractor spotted what appeared to be bones. The contractor turned off the backhoe and jumped into a ditch, and authorities were called.

Police arrived and called the New York City Medical Examiner’s office, which removed the bones.

A forensic anthropologist determined that they were in fact human remains.

Five bones were found at the scene – each of them about 6 to 8 inches long, Kozar reported.

Police later told CBS 2’s Kozar the site had once been a cemetery, but had no information about who was buried there or any other details. The Queens Historical Society assisted with the dig.

“This is an old neighborhood,” said teacher Marian Skabikis. “It was built on a farm.”

Skabikis has lived across the street from where the bones were found for 27 years.

“When we first started raking in our garden, we found a couple of arrowheads and some old pottery,” Skabikis told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman. “Probably this was just either a burial ground or maybe a family plot.”

The homeowner who has lived at the address for more than 20 years also claimed to know nothing of the remains. Neighbors were surprised at the discovery.

“History, a long time ago — who knows what happened?” said resident Nikhil Kumar.

No criminality is suspected in the discovery.

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