Police are investigating the discovery of a small casket found on a north Philadelphia sidewalk that contained some embalmed remains believed to be those of an infant or child.
Police said they received a report of a small white casket shortly after 9 p.m. Monday across from the Mount Vernon Cemetery.
“We didn’t want to open it because we didn’t know what was inside, toxic waste, it could have been anything,” Chris James told KYW-TV. “We honestly thought it could be an animal … I was pretty shocked.”
Inside, officers found a bag with what appeared to be internal organ tissue.
“What’s unusual is inside the coffin other than the bag of organs, there was no body,” Chief Inspector Scott Small said.
Police said a medical examiner confirmed that the bag contained embalmed internal organs, which Small said are believed to have belonged to an infant or child.
The casket was taken to the medical examiner’s office.
“There have been cases where people take remains or human bodies for whatever unusual reasons they decide, but we’re going to look into that,” Small said.
Investigators are checking the cemetery across the street and another nearby cemetery to see if the casket could have come from there. They are also contacting nearby funeral homes.
— With files from Global News