When a human skull was discovered beneath a Parrsboro church in November, Nova Scotia’s medical examiner called upon the same expert used by the Miami-Dade Police Department.

No, it’s not the fictional Horatio Caine.

Every two years, the real Miami-Dade Police call upon Saint Mary’s University to send forensic anthropologist Dr. Tanya Peckmann and her graduate students to the Florida city to assist with the excavation of suspected crime scenes. As the tapes roll nearby on another episode of the popular TV show CSI Miami, Peckmann is handling the real cases.


In November, Dr. Peckmann arrived in Parrsboro with four of her grad students. to handle the excavation of a human skull found beneath the church

Peckmann began to conclude she had an archeological investigation on her hands, not a forensic one.

“What happens,” said Peckmann, “and it happens often in rural communities that were farmland — someone says, ‘I want to be buried under the oak tree,’ and the site goes without a tombstone.”

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