Search crew trying to determine if coffins are buried under Tampa tow yard

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A search crew is working to determine whether or not coffins are buried underneath a tow yard in Tampa.

The four-person crew got an early start.

First, they mapped the land. Then, a ground penetrating radar machine inched across the area.

The scene played out Monday morning at Sunstate Wrecker Services along North Florida Avenue in Tampa.

“Shocked does not begin to cover it,” said company owner Tony Huffman.

Huffman certainly got a shock about a month ago when he was notified that his parking lot, used to house wrecked cars and trucks, could be sacred ground.

“There was a gentleman who came by originally. He was looking for a burial plot. And we were totally shocked. We told him there were no cemeteries here. He assured us that there was,” Huffman said Monday.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise.

8 On Your Side has reported on at least 120 coffin-shaped items found in the ground at Robles Park Village, right next to the tow yard.

Other sites have been discovered around Tampa as well.

“Everyone’s working. It’s going to take a moment. It’s a big project because there’s some area’s that are still uncovered. A lot may be uncovered,” a city official recently told 8 On Your Side.

The crew at the tow yard will continue to check the land over the next couple of days.

They said their equipment can detect objects around 7 feet in the ground.

Huffman has allowed unrestricted access to his property hoping the search brings closure if anyone is buried here.

“It’s the right thing to do. For us, it was just simply a matter of being a good custodian of the city and of the community,” he said.

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