A TEAM cordoned off a section of the Armidale Cemetery to open the grave of Lewis 'Buddy' Kelly and exhume his body.
Last week the State Coroner issued an exhumation warrant to allow forensic examination of the body as part of the investigation into the cause of his death at Kempsey 37 years ago.
Lewis 'Buddy' Kelly was found dead on train tracks in South Kempsey on New Year's Day in 1983 - he was 16 years old. Despite initial investigations concluding the apprentice glazier was responsible for his own death, his family maintains he was murdered.
When Buddy's case was re-opened in 2018, Greens Aboriginal Justice spokesperson David Shoebridge said the investigation following Buddy's death was inadequate.
"These exhumation warrants are only granted if there are valid grounds," Mr Shoebridge said.
Buddy's sister Monica Kelly said the main aim of the exhumation was to prove that a train didn't kill Buddy and the family was hopeful the forensic examination findings support this.
"We believe Buddy was deceased before the train came along and examination results should be available to us by the end of the week," Ms Kelly said.
"It's obviously the detectives that will get these results, but they said they are happy to deliver them to our legal representative as well."
The family's legal representative in this regard is Mark Tedeschi AM QC, Mr Shoebridge said.
"Mr Tedeschi is a highly recognised former Crown Prosecutor, and he has been very generous with his support," he said.
"Port Macquarie detectives are investigating the case with oversight by the State Crime Squad."
Whatever results come from this week's forensic examination of the body of Lewis 'Buddy' Kelly, his family say they will continue to campaign for what they believe is the truth.
"Anything is hope for us, and we're not going to give up," Ms Kelly said
"Thirty-seven years is a long time but technology back in 1983 compared to what it is today is a whole different ball game, and we hope something comes out of this examination, but if not we will continue to move forward as a family and fight for justice."
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