Image: Geronimo
AFP - Getty Images file
Geronimo, a Chiricahua Apache, poses in 1887 in this image from the National Archives.
updated 6/22/2009 6:16:15 AM ET 2009-06-22T10:16:15

The U.S. Justice Department asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought by descendants of Apache leader Geronimo, whose remains were purported to be stolen long ago by members of a secret society at Yale University.

The government filed the motion June 10 to oppose a lawsuit filed in February by 20 of Geronimo's descendants, who want to rebury the warrior near his birthplace in southern New Mexico's Gila Wilderness.

Geronimo died in 1909. The lawsuit alleges that Skull and Bones members took some of the remains in 1918 from a burial plot in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to keep in its New Haven, Connecticut, clubhouse.

Both Presidents Bush, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and many others in powerful government and industry positions are members of the society, which is not affiliated with the university.

More on: Geronimo | Yale Skull and Bones

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