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Search team still on the job

The Sheriff's Office and Onondaga County Medical Examiners have been working in concert with the Madison County District Attorney/ Coroner , Madison County Board of Supervisors, St. James Cemetery staff including board members, the Cazenovia Town Supervisor as well as other legislative town board members.

"The recovery effort is receiving direct and valuable support from the Madison-Oneida Chapter of the American Red Cross," according to Sheriff Cary.

The local chapter of the Red Cross had deployed their Disaster Response Vehicle and volunteer staff to the Wampsville location and is providing food and beverages daily to recover team members throughout the duration of the difficult recovery process.

"The partnership between the Sheriff's Office and the local chapter of the Red Cross has been a valuable and necessary asset," Cary said. "The recovery process is difficult, dirty and labor intensive. The condition of the soil remains in mostly a mud or sludge state. The mounds of dirt have been leveled and spread over a large area of ground. Members of the recovery teams are searching through the soil and sludge with rakes, shovels and hand tools."

Skeletal and wooden casket remains are being found each day. Eventually the remains will be turned over to the Medical Examiners Office and then returned to the Cemetery staff for re-internment.

It is hoped that the recovery effort will be concluded next week. Two major factors have influenced the length of the recovery process at this point. Those two factors are the number of recovery team members available from day to day and the weather conditions. The operation is continuing despite the rain and predicted cold temperatures.

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