State Police: Remains discovered on South Kingstown property

Eyewitness News observed State Police and South Kingstown Police at the scene early Saturday evening before 5 p.m.

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island State Police confirm they are investigating the discovery of remains at a property on Matunuck School House Road in South Kingstown near the Charlestown line.

Eyewitness News observed State Police and South Kingstown Police at the scene early Saturday evening before 5 p.m. The Rhode Island State Police Mobile Crime Lab was also on scene. Investigators could be seen sifting through mounds of dirt Saturday night.

Crime scene tape was up along the property at 2027 Matunuck School House Road, where it appears a new foundation is being built.

Eyewitness News spoke with staff at St. James Chapel next door, who said the property had been owned by the church before it was recently sold to a developer. The staff told Eyewitness News the land was sold in October and developers began construction approximately two weeks ago; the developers plan to build multiple homes on the land. Staff members said there was formerly a home on the land, but it was demolished decades ago.

Church staff said the land was originally given to the parish by the Walsh family, and Eyewitness News has learned an infamous member of the Walshes was Prohibition-era bootlegger and reputed gangster Danny Walsh.

According to historical reports, Walsh disappeared in 1933, never to be seen or heard from again. Some reports said people believed he was killed and buried by his hit men at the same Charlestown farm where investigators were seen digging Saturday night.

State Police told Eyewitness News Saturday night they could not confirm whether the remains discovered were human. When asked if they believed they had discovered the remains of Danny Walsh, State Police said it was too early in the investigation to speculate.

Stay with Eyewitness News for the latest on this breaking news story, online and on air.