Litchfield man uses radar to find unmarked graves in Washington, D.C. cemetery.
But a New Hampshire man has been helping to track them down, or at least pinpoint their eternal resting spots. Bob Perry of Litchfield has been mapping the underground of one of the older cemeteries in the nation's capital using a a ground-penetrating radar device that he wheels around on a modified baby stroller. His work was profiled in the Washington Post on Christmas Day. The newspaper called him the "bone finder."
Now, the cemetery is on the rebound, and Perry's work is part of that renewed interest. He uses the radar to locate unmarked graves and then GPS to pinpoint their location. And Perry said he may be next hired to locate and map water and sewer lines running through the cemetery.
"People just didn't put up headstones," he said. "Sometimes they were paupers. Back in the old days, people used to go into cemeteries and they'd forget about them."
Perry, a U.S. Navy veteran, served in Vietnam. After his discharge, he went to school for mechanical design and draftsmanship.
That led to other cemetery work. He started the company Topographix and eventually added ground-penetrating radar and, more recently, GPS services.
He said one of his more interesting jobs was in Manchester, when he used radar to determine there were no bodies on land that St. Augustin Cemetery wanted to sell to developers.
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