Wisconsin Historical Society

General Information

What to Do If You Find Human Remains

What to Do if You Find Human Remains | Wisconsin Historical Society

By state law, all discoveries of suspected human bone must be reported immediately.

If You Find Human Bone or Believe You Have Found Human Bone

  1. Contact your local police or sheriff's department immediately.
  2. Do not move or handle the remains.
  3. Stop all construction or other ground disturbance immediately.
  4. Contact the Wisconsin Historical Society at 800-342-7834 or 608-264-6507 as soon as possible.

Failure to report the discovery of human remains to the Wisconsin Historical Society may result in substantial fines or criminal charges.

Stop Construction or other Ground Disturbing Activities

Construction or other ground disturbing activities may not proceed until the bones are determined to be unrelated to a criminal or missing persons case and the director of the Wisconsin Historical Society has granted a request to disturb the burial site.

If the bones are determined to be unrelated to a criminal or missing persons case, Wisconsin's burial sites laws apply.

If you have a digital camera, you may be asked to forward photographs to Leslie Eisenberg.

Learn More

See more articles about Human Burials, Mounds and Cemeteries

Have Questions?

Contact Kimberly Cook at 1-800-342-7834 or by email below: