NEW HAVEN, Conn. -
When Sandy roared ashore in Connecticut Monday it toppled a century-old oak tree in New Haven's town green. The roots of the tree unearthed a skeleton and a mystery.
WTNH reports the famous tree was planted in 1909 in honor of Admiral Andrew Hull Foote, a New Haven native who became one of President Abraham Lincoln's favorite Civil war admirals.
Police spokesman David Hartman says a woman who was with other bystanders looking at a fallen oak tree called police Tuesday after she saw bones in the upturned roots.
"I noticed what I thought was a rock at first, I kind of poked it and a piece came off in my hand, and I noticed it was bone fragments," Katie Carbo told WTNH. "So I took a stick and knocked some of the dirt away and noticed it was an entire skull and body and vertebrae, ribs."
Hartman says the tree was planted on the green in 1909 on the 100th anniversary of President Lincoln's birth. He says the remains likely belong to one of thousands of people buried there in Colonial times. The remains will be evaluated by the state medical examiner.
Although the area is a place for public gatherings now, WTNH reports it was actually a cemetery between approximately 1650 and 1821.
Carbo says the skeleton "should be given a proper burial."