Bodies of 2 victims of 1944 circus fire to be exhumed

Published: Oct. 7, 2019 at 8:43 AM EDT
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Forensic experts are set to exhume the bodies of two unidentified victims of the 1944 Hartford circus fire in an effort to determine if one of them was a Vermont woman.

The exhumations are scheduled for Monday morning at the Northwood Cemetery in Windsor. Chief Medical Examiner James Gill says it may be a daylong process.

The fire in the big top of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus on July 6, 1944, killed 168 people and injured 682 others.

Gill's office will compare DNA samples from the remains of the two women to a sample from the granddaughter of Grace Fifield, of Newport, Vermont, who attended the circus and was never seen again.

A state judge approved the exhumations last month.

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