07-11-2009, 09:54 AM #1
CT - Bridgeport, two human skulls found at cemetery, Jul'09
Conn. official says cemetery skulls are human
The Associated Press
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - Two human skulls stuffed with paper have been turned over to authorities after a grieving family discovered the remains at a Bridgeport cemetery.
The skulls were found on a newly dug Mountain Grove cemetery plot July 3. Elda and Iris Hernandez found the skulls when they came to visit the grave of their father.
The skulls were stuffed with eight strips of what appeared to be bloodstained paper, each with a person's name on it. Family members did not recognize any of the names.
Police said one skull is from a female, the other belonged to a male. They said the skulls were apparently dug up from graves and further testing would be needed to identify the remains. The state Chief Medical Examiner's Office said the skulls are quite old.
The discovery came as Stamford police investigate the theft of a 2-year-old girl's body from a cemetery.
Two men fishing in the Passaic River on Sunday in Clifton, N.J., found the child's body in a bag at the shoreline. An investigation led authorities to the grave of the child who was buried in Stamford in 2007.
Stamford police Capt. Richard Conklin said authorities will investigate whether there is a link between the findings in Connecticut and the New Jersey girl. He said there was no evidence of a connection, however.
In the Stamford case, investigators are looking at the crime "as a ritualistic sort of thing," Conklin said.
Also, in Bridgeport, police last month found an altar in the basement of a home containing strings of beads and burning candles, a freshly butchered chicken dripping blood into a bowl and an alligator skull atop a human skull atop a goat's skull.
Jennifer Rose Emick, an expert on alternative religions, said it would be difficult to pinpoint a religious practice behind the incidents. She said ritualistic practices involving human bones may seem to be on the rise because authorities are more aware of the practice. In the past, she said, such findings were blamed on teenagers or Satanists.
In recent years, a few incidents have been reported around the country.
In New Jersey, a woman was accused of using human remains taken in 2001 and 2002 in rituals she conducted as a high priestess in the Palo Mayombe religious cult. In Maryland, a cauldron was found with a human skull and some bones in 2007 in what authorities said may have been part of an African religious ritual. In 2006, a Haitian woman was arrested at a Florida airport for smuggling a human skull in her luggage. The woman said she brought the skull from Haiti to use in her Voodoo beliefs.
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07-11-2009, 09:56 AM #2
Published: July 8, 2009 at 11:19 PM
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BRIDGEPORT, Conn., July 8 (UPI) -- Two human skulls were found near a new grave in a Bridgeport, Conn., cemetery, police said.
Family members found the skulls Friday when they went to plant flowers on the grave of Pedro Hernandez Deras, who was buried June 16 in Mountain Grove cemetery, the Connecticut Post reported Wednesday.
The city's chief medical examiner's office determined one skull was from a male, the other from a female, and is continuing testing to determine their age at death and when they died, said Detective Keith Bryant of the city police. Bryant also said the skulls are quite old and police suspect they were dug up from a grave.
On June 9, police found an altar with animal and human skulls when they raided a home. They suspect the skulls were for use in an Afro-Caribbean or voodoo ritual. The skulls in the cemetery contained slips of paper with names on them.
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