AUBURN, N.Y. (AP) — The backyard of a central New York home where human bones were recently found was formerly a burial ground for inmates executed at the local state prison more than 100 years ago.

The Citizen of Auburn reports (http://bit.ly/2aMxAEI ) historical records and newspaper articles show that the privately owned land where the remains were discovered during excavation work last weekend was used to bury the unclaimed bodies of inmates from Auburn state prison in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Auburn Police Department says it's continuing to investigate who's responsible for the remains and their reburial. A medical examiner's office is testing the bones to determine their age and how many people may be associated with the burial.

A state law passed in 1898 said the parcel was used "as a burial lot for deceased convicts."

[STORY BY: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS]