A man expecting to find his recently deceased father's belongings opened a plastic bag sent to him by a funeral home and discovered an amputated human leg. Christopher Runyan received the bag Monday from Sinnickson's Moriches Funeral Home, which handled the funeral of his father, Paul, 77, who died last week.

Runyan said a foul odor was coming from the bag, and he opened it and discovered the leg.

"The stench that came out almost knocked me over," Runyan told the Daily News. "I turned totally white."

The funeral home had received the bag from the hospital, and Lee W. Sinnickson said in a statement that it is the policy of his funeral home "not to open the contents of a decedent's personal effects."

Suffolk County police Sgt. George Kelly said Tuesday that investigators determined that the leg belonged to a patient who died Jan. 13. "We believe it was just a case of human error," Kelly said.

Central Suffolk Hospital spokeswoman Nancy Uzo said Tuesday the case would be investigated, but she would not say how the error may have happened, citing patient confidentiality rules.