Infant human organs found in small casket on street in Philadelphia


During a Thursday morning news conference on the macabre find, police Capt. Malachi Jones discussed the incident and said that, for the moment, no charges have been filed in relation to the case.

Police Chief Inspector Scott Small told KYW-TV that the medical examiner determined that a plastic bag inside the coffin contained embalmed organs from an infant or small child.

The casket was found in the 3000 block of West Clearfield Street across from Mount Vernon Cemetery Monday night. He said it is routine for autopsies to be conducted in order to determine cause of death when an infant dies. The lid of the small casket may have recently been pried open because the screws were freshly loosened, according to police.

New Jersey law requires funeral homes to dispose of organs and associated viscera "in the same manner as the remains, so if that's burial, then they're buried, or if it's cremation, then they would be cremated", said Adam S. Guziejewski, deputy executive director of the New Jersey State Funeral Directors Association, which represents 500 funeral homes and 1,000 individual licensees in the Garden State. But an aerial search found nothing, said Jones.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, officials at two nearby cemeteries said they are not involved in the matter and have investigated to see whether any graves have been disturbed. The child's body was moved to a new one casket. He went on to say that what was unusual about the find was there was no body in the casket; no head, no arms or legs, no torso, no bones and no skin, just the organs. Just before that funeral service, staffers noticed the coffin's latch had broken, and they transferred the baby's body to a new coffin - inadvertently leaving the bag of organs behind in the broken white casket, Jones said.

- Authorities in North Philadelphia have a tragic mystery on their hands. "From what I understand, the family was quite upset". They are also contacting nearby funeral homes.