As It Happens

New Yorker finds his dad's bones buried in the basement of his childhood home

Mike Carroll has always wondered what really happened to his father. When he started digging up the basement in his family's house, he realized the truth was close to home.

Michael Carroll dug up his father's remains 57 years after he went missing

Mike Carroll discovered the remains of his long-lost father underneath his childhood home. (Submitted by Mike Carroll )


Mike Carroll always wondered what really happened to his father.

The Lake Grove, N.Y., man was just eight months old when his dad went missing. When he asked his mom about it, she would tell him he left and never came back.

But when Carroll started digging up the basement in his family's house, he realized the truth was much closer to home.

Six feet under his home, to be exact. 

"It's just an awesome thing that we were able to find him because I don't think he was meant to be found,"  Carroll told As It Happens host Carol Off.

"Bodies aren't supposed to be under houses."

Rumours and changing stories 

His father, George Carroll, disappeared in 1961. According to police, he was never reported missing. 

Carroll had long questioned his mother's story, which he says often changed. 

"The common one was he went out to get cigarettes and he never came back. There was another one … she said that he went to take the garbage out and he never came back," he said.

"There was a few times when she said he was in the Korean War so he may have had a girlfriend in Korea and he went back to see her."

We found him and now it opens up another bag of worms as far as a thousand questions.- Michael Carroll

Other people have told him different stories over the years, he said, including a relative who believed his brother was under the house. 

His mother eventually remarried, and Carroll stopped asking questions. She died in 1998.

Psychics and radar 

Carroll later bought his childhood home.

He says he employed some unconventional methods in his quest to uncover the truth about what happened, including meetings with multiple psychics. 

One, he said, told him his father never left. 

Another came to visit the home, he said, and pointed to a specific spot of the basement's floor.

"The guy walked around and he stopped on the spot and said, 'I feel energy here,'" he said. "That wound up being the spot — but we didn't know it then."

He said he later used ground-penetrating radar, and discovered there was something buried there, six feet under.

'I felt total peace'

So three years ago, Carroll began the arduous process of drilling through the floor. 

It was his two adult sons who finally discovered the remains on Halloween of this year.

"My son Christopher came upstairs and told me, 'Dad, you might want to come downstairs and see this,'" he said.

It was human bones.

"All I could tell you was, I don't know how to explain it, I felt total peace," he said. "I made sure that I touched him because I needed to touch him — and it's weird, but I did."

They called 911 and the remains were taken to the county coroner's office to be examined by an anthropologist.

On Wednesday, the Suffolk County Police Department announced the body has been identified as George Carroll, and that his death is now being examined as a homicide.

He appears to have been the victim of blunt-force trauma to the head. 

"We found him and now it opens up another bag of worms as far as a thousand questions," Carroll said. 

Who did it?

Carroll says he believes he knows who killed his father, but doesn't want to speculate publicly.

"In all honesty, I personally know in my heart what happened," he said. "However, how it happened, when it happened, what went down, I don't know. "

Right now, he says he's focused on laying his father to rest in a way that befits a veteran.

"I'm hoping to give him the proper military burial," he said. "I would like for him to get what he deserves and his day. I want him to have a full acknowledgement for who he was."

Written by Sheena Goodyear and Katie Geleff. Interview with Mike Caroll produced by Chris Harbord. 


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