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I’m writing a horror book and I was wondering:

If you buried a body in a graveyard, how deep would you have to put it so that it is untraceable/undetectable? Time period—modern day Untraceable for—as long as possible and everyone is searching

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closed as too broad by Secespitus, RonJohn, L.Dutch, Tim B II, JBH Apr 8 '18 at 5:50

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to WorldBuilding.SE! Out of curiosity: are you the person that is referred to in this Meta discussion? I think your question is currently lacking information. My resoning is explained in my answer to that Meta discussion. How many resources? Present day? How long undetectable? What kind of people are searching? Are they actively searching? If you have a moment please take the tour and visit the help center to learn more about the site. Have fun! $\endgroup$ – Secespitus Apr 7 '18 at 20:56
  • $\begingroup$ BTW: For the moment I am voting to put this question temporarily on hold as until you edit your question to provide more details. Voting to put a question on hold and reopening are normal community processes here on WorldBuilding. If 5 members with more than 3.000 reputation think a question is currently unclear/off-topic it will be put on hold. The first edit from the OP will then send it automatically to a reopen review queue where it again takes 5 people to reopen. $\endgroup$ – Secespitus Apr 7 '18 at 20:57
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    $\begingroup$ How long is "as long as possible"? If they dig up the whole cemetery, they're going to find the body. $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Apr 7 '18 at 21:07
  • $\begingroup$ This question is missing a ton of information and, therefore, it soo broad. How long ago was the body buried? Was it buried in a casket? in a body bag? bare? Was it wearing perfume? What did it last eat? Where was it buried (what are the native predators)? How dry is the soil? and quite a number of other needed facts not in evidence. $\endgroup$ – JBH Apr 8 '18 at 5:50
  • $\begingroup$ Part of the problem here is that it is easiest to find the body if someone looks immediately (within a month or so). Because no matter how deep the hole, it will look like someone dug a hole and then filled it back in until the grass or other vegetation returns to normal. You haven't explained why that isn't a problem but deepness of the hole is. It really seems like you are focusing on the wrong problem. Also, a regular six foot hole is fine if you can find a way to hide that there is a hole. Do you have some reason that you want it less deep than that? $\endgroup$ – Brythan Apr 9 '18 at 5:59
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I actually have some experience detecting things underground (mine sweeping in 3rd world nations.) It depends as to what you are trying to hide its detection from. The most likely tool used to detect a body in a cemetery would be ground penetrating radar. Fooling ground penetrating radar is more of a function of clutter than of depth, since all it detects in the cavity in the soil created by the object. Burying a body directly on top of another grave could do the trick, preferably inside the casket with the remains of another body. Keep in mind that coffins aren't actually buried alone, but in concrete sarcophagi designed to prevent the ground from caving in and creating a depression on the surface when the casket decays. The lids are pretty heavy, would be a two man job or require excavating equipment to do properly. Also it ought to be a fresh grave since people might notice that a headstone marked "RIP john doe, 1900-1965" has been freshly dug at.

This also fools cadaver dogs since a cadaver dog alerting on a fresh grave is pretty much to be expected.

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In a cemetery there are places one expects bodies to be buried. One might not search effective or at all outside of those places. For example

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Oakland-Cemetery-Richards-tomb.jpg oakland cemetery tomb

An above ground tomb like this has bodies inside. If you buried a body under the wall of the tomb that area might not be checked. One would not expect an interrment there. Likewise, burying the body in the floor of the tomb itself, or in the wall. The coffins inside are on shelves. Such a burial would technically be within the cemetery but not in the typical places for graves.

Likewise one could bury a body under the floor of an office building or other structure on the grounds, or under a tree.

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If you buried the body in separate pieces, modern detection methods might locate multiple cavities under the ground but would also report that none of the cavities are big enough to hold an entire corpse.

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