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Commissioners approve rezoning for Carson-Newman human cadaver site

11:10 PM, Dec 18, 2012   |    comments
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Despite ongoing controversy, it looks like a second human cadaver site is coming to East Tennessee.

On Tuesday Jefferson County commissioners approved a rezoning vote for the facility.

Carson-Newman wants to add the site as part of its new forensics program. It would be located on a tract of land in New Market.

That land is being donated by a world renounced forensic scientist and Jefferson County resident Arthur Bohanan. He maintains the site will be safe for all.

"I wouldn't bring in anything to harm the people in the area. I live next door, 500 feet from it, and I'm not going to contaminate myself or my children. Period," he said.

But not everyone agrees.

"It's our property, it's our water, it's our animals, it's our families that are going to be living next to this. It's not going to be the students bussed in from Carson-Newman for an hour or two to look at the decaying corpses there," said Evelyn Blackman, a concerned citizen.

Carson-Newman's facility would be small-scale and would only receive one body a month.

Bohanan worked in East Tennessee law enforcement for decades. His career started in the 1960s, and over the years he helped to solve hundreds of cases, including many involving children.

He also invented a highly influential fingerprinting technique that allows investigators to pull prints directly from human skin.

UT's human cadaver site, better known as the Body Farm, is world famous. It's much larger than the site planned for Jefferson County.

Dr. Bill Bass founded the facility back in the 1980s; it was the first of its kind back then.

Bass says he is giving his support to Carson-Newman's new forensics site.

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