After listening to Groves’ plea, Sermons said the law makes it clear the reinterring Salter’s remains “is up to the next of kin.”
“The obvious and most important thing is to reinter that man to his resting place,” Sermons said.
Sermons said the agreement will be converted into a consent order to be signed by the court. He also said the court would not interfere with the heirs’ desires when it comes to what they do with Salter’s remains. He also said the court retains jurisdiction over the matter in regard to additional court orders that may be required.
The remains were unearthed near Bath Creek in 1986.
Duffus contends the remains are those of Salter, a barrel-maker who died in 1735, may have been a member of Blackbeard’s pirate crew who escaped being hanged and returned to settle in Bath. Salter went on to become a ward of St. Thomas Parish and an assemblyman representing Beaufort County in 1731.
Duffus has sought genetic testing on the bones to confirm his theory.
Earlier this year, five people responded to advertisements in the Washington Daily News seeking heirs of Salter, according to a report filed with the court. Four of those people believe they are Salter’s descendants and one is described as “uncertain,” according to the report.