Just east of Laredo in the town of Falfurias, TX, the discovery of a mass grave site has turned to the aid of archaeologists and forensic anthropologists to answer questions about the unknown deceased.

According to the town Sheriff, about 10 discoveries of unmarked, unknown skeletal remains had been reported at a local cemetery. These reports sparked the need to bring in archaeologists to properly look for other instances of bodies and identify them. Over a hundred have been discovered so far with remains found in trash bags, shopping bags, body bags, or no containers at all.

In one burial, bones of three bodies were inside a single body bag. In another instance, at least five people in body bags and smaller plastic bags were piled on top of each other. Skulls were found in biohazard bags placed between coffins.

There are varying degrees of decomposition, so anthropologists believe that the bodies were buried relatively recently – possibly within the last 10 years.

“To me it’s just as shocking as the mass grave that you would picture in your head, and it’s just as disrespectful,” said Krista Latham, a forensic anthropologist at the University of Indianapolis.

In 2013, 110 remains were exhumed from the cemetery, and this year volunteers have performed an additional 52 exhumations – but more than 52 people were buried in those spaces.

The bodies are suspected to be those of Central American and Mexican migrants trying to make it into the country. They may have died of exposure while evading Border Patrol checkpoints in remote South Texas, where temperatures reach more than 100 degrees in the summer and there is little water and shade.

The crew is working hard to show their respects to the bodies and identify them in the hopes that they can return the remains to survived families.

The researchers do expect to return next year to continue the investigation and attempt to identify more bodies.

How They Got There

County officials said that for the last 16 years or more, whenever they found bodies in the desert, they were handed over to local funeral home, Funeraria del Angel Howard-Williams. The county paid the funeral home a stipend of $450 each to dispose of the bodies.

Jessica McDunn, a spokesperson for the funeral home’s parent company, Houston-based Service Corporation International, commented: “No matter if this is one of our client families we serve on a traditional basis or a migrant family’s loved one we’re serving and we don’t have any identification of the loved one, I do want to let you know it is our policy to treat the decedent with care, to treat them just like we would treat anyone else.”

Howard-Williams, said McDunn, has records pertaining to the burials, but “this does not amount to confirmation that Howard-Williams was involved in depositing the remains in the manner the researchers described.”

Read More:

Mass graves of migrants found in Falfurrias (+ Video)

Researchers in south Texas find mass grave with bodies of more than 100 migrants


  1. This is not some big mystery. When you get to the end of the article you are told what is going on… This whole article was a joke. The misleading heading was pathetic. If you had a journalistic license it should be taken from you.

    • I fail to see how it was misleading, except for maybe the questionable blame toward the funeral home. I would be willing to bet that our border police had something to do with it. I have heard how some of them talk, with complete disgust for Mexicans. They not only devalue their lives completely, but will do terrible things to them. They are not much worse than the Coyotes that bring them through. Makes me sick how people can hate another people so much that they would want to kill, maim, mutilate, or disfigure another. In my opinion, THAT’S EVIL! And if these things are indeed happening (this may be proof) then we allow it to happen by allowing our government to do what they please. I thought this was a land that was free of persecution. A land that people could come to avoid that, but they receive it here the most. Its like saying “here is the land of milk and honey. It is everything you want it to be.” Then they save money for a loooooong time JUST to get transportation here, just to be hunted down. Now, I know people are going to say, well they are illegals. Who cares?? They are people and should not be treated as filthy animals. I don’t care what race they are. Lets save American lives? How about we just save lives. Everyone is so worried about American lives and doesn’t give a crap about anyone else. Its disgusting. Those illegals do more for this country than the lazy people on our welfare system. We should start with that. Just because you are born American, doesn’t mean that you are entitled to… lazy and sit back collecting free money. Money is NOT free. Someone had to spend that for those people to sit back and raise criminals. Its actually the American people that are weighing down America. From the large corporations who outsource to other countries and get special “favors” and tax breaks from our government while paying minimal payyroll and making it rich to the lowest of our society where people are getting welfare and spitting out more kids while sitting on their lazy rumps, there are many different aspects that are contributing to our downfall, but everyone wants to blame the Mexicans and other illegals. To blame others while we kill ourselves….that seems like it’s the American way! I’m sorry that this comment is long and got off point a tad. But if these atrocities are actually happening and they find evidence of this, then we have to do something about it!

      • Thank you for your passion and interest in the topic. It is truly heart wrenching. Just a thought to be careful not to fall into racist or class stereotypes that you find so upsetting, and rightfully so.

  2. Racist? For one to be racist one MUST have power or hold a position to negatively influence the outcome of another person. From my prospective it his narrative was exressing his anger about the evil practices of the border patrol which does not make him a racist. Certainly not if his statements were truthful.

    All too often we use words such as racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic without a understanding of the definitions or when a person speaks negatively on a particular class of people. 100 persons slaughtered and buried in a mass grave in a civilized society without justice should anger us all.


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