- Associated Press - Monday, July 27, 2015

July 27—Excavation got underway Monday at a location off of U.S. Highway 331 where a gravestone turned up recently during a road construction project.

A team fielded by the Florida Department of Transportation will seek to determine whether two “anomalies” detected underground near where the headstone was found might somehow be connected to it.

The headstone bears the name of Inez Woosley, who, newspaper records indicate, was killed with her husband Billy Ray in a July 2, 1966 automobile accident in Gould, Arkansas.

The headstone also carries the dates Jan. 28, 1940 and July 2, 1966.

Another Inez Woosley headstone, with the same dates of birth and death, marks a grave in the Corner Creek Upper Cemetery in Geneva, Ala. Two of Inez Woosley’s children are also buried in Geneva.

FDOT spokesman Ian Satter said he’s received information that the manufactured headstone in Geneva was put in at Corner Creek Upper Cemetery 14 years ago to replace the rough hewn marker found in a wooded area off U.S. 331.

“We still don’t know why this headstone was found at this site and we still need to find out what’s under the ground here,” Satter said.

The excavation started about noon. Satter said he was unsure how long it would take.

By mid-afternoon, the excavation crew had gone down about two to two and a half feet and had not found anything. At this time, they do not believe the anomalies are graves, Satter said.

The excavation crew is moving very carefully and will be back on site to finish today.

The headstone was found in a wooded area where a retention pond was being built as part of a U.S. 331 widening project.

After the gravestone was discovered, an archeologist using ground-penetrating radar found two “anomalies” beneath the soil near where it turned up.

The anomolies are linear and measure anywhere from three to seven feet, Satter said.

Satter said a project development and environmental study undertaken before beginning the widening of U.S. 331 turned up no evidence of a graveyard or burial ground along the route.

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(c)2015 Northwest Florida Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.)

Visit the Northwest Florida Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.) at www.nwfdailynews.com

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