Examiner’s Office: So Who Donated Those Human Skulls To Goodwill?

CAPTION: Two human skulls prepared for clinical use that were donated to a Bellevue, Wash., thrift store. A third, older skull (not pictured) from a Native American child was also donated. The Medical Examiner is asking media to clearly state that a skull of a Native American child is NOT shown.

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office has a simple question for the public: Who donated three human skulls to Goodwill?

According to an announcement issued today, the three skulls showed up in June to at the Bellevue Goodwill at 14515 NE 20th St. Once employees at the Goodwill realized what they had on their hands, the Examiner’s Office says they were contacted - as were law enforcement officials.

According to the Examiner’s Office: “Two of the skulls are adult specimens that were clearly used in a medical clinic or instruction,” and “The third skull is very old and appears to be the fragile remains of a Native American child.” That last bit is particularly important, as the Examiner’s Office notes, because “The Native American skull must be repatriated to its tribe of origin.”

The announcement goes on to say that the Medical Examiner’s Office is simply “requesting that the private citizen who donated the skulls provide information, without penalty, about the origin of the child’s skull.”

Anyone with information is urged to call the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

CAPTION: A human skull was inside this box when it was donated to a Bellevue, Wash., thrift store.

CAPTION: This scarf was wrapped around one of the skulls donated to a Bellevue, Wash., thrift store.

Here’s the official release:

Medical Examiner seeks public help: Who donated the human skulls?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Three human skulls that were donated to a local thrift store are prompting the King County Medical Examiner’s Office to turn to the public for assistance.

There is no information regarding who donated the three skulls to the Bellevue Goodwill, or how they came to be in his/her possession.

Two of the skulls are adult specimens that were clearly used in a medical clinic or instruction.

The third skull is very old and appears to be the fragile remains of a Native American child.

The Native American skull must be repatriated to its tribe of origin, by state law. However, additional details are needed, to properly identify the correct tribe or tribes. The Medical Examiner is requesting that the private citizen who donated the skulls provide information, without penalty, about the origin of the child’s skull.

The skulls were donated in June to the Bellevue Goodwill, at 14515 NE 20th St, Bellevue. Employees there realized the skulls were authentic human remains and followed proper procedure by contacting the Medical Examiner’s Office and law enforcement.

If you find a skull or bones

The skulls provide a reminder that skeletal remains – even those used for teaching purposes – should always be handled with respect. If you are given or inherit clinical or archaeological remains, you can turn them in without penalty to the Medical Examiner’s Office. If you inadvertently discover human remains, such as buried or in a public place, you must notify law enforcement.

Anyone with information about the three donated skulls should contact the King County Medical Examiner’s Office at 206-731-3232, ext. 1.

 
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