Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mummified Baby Stolen

I can't decide which part of this story is weirder!

CONCORD, N.H. – The mummified body of a baby, kept by a family for nearly a century before a judge ordered the remains to be buried, has been removed from a cemetery, police said Tuesday.

. . .

Thomas said the police believe the grave was disturbed over the weekend. After seeing evidence of grave-tampering, investigators got a search warrant to exhume the site and found the casket, but not the remains, he said. He said many people have been interviewed and declined to name any suspects.
. . .

Relatives had treated the mummified infant as a family member, giving it cards during holidays and a dried fish as a pet.

20 comments:

Janet Reid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Janet Reid said...

does this mean I have to get rid of my stuffed snake? And stuffed octopus? And stuffed....oh dear. I think I've gone over the edge!

Stephanie Thornton said...

Ummmm... This goes down as one of the weirdest news stories ever. EVER.

Loretta Ross said...

Janet, I think as long as you can prove via DNA that you're related to them, you're fine.

Loretta Ross said...

Stephanie, yeah. I think this even tops the guy who was arrested for having sex with a vacuum cleaner at a laundromat.

Gary Corby said...

Cool! Sort of. Also seriously disturbed.

This is vaguely reminiscent of the English philosopher and reformist Jeremy Bentham. He specified in his will that his body should be dissected and then stuffed in a sitting position in an enclosed case, to be kept at University College London.

It's said that Bentham - or what's left of him - attends the university council meetings, recorded as "present but not voting."

Loretta Ross said...

You know, Gary, I think I've heard that story! I read true ghost stories and I believe there's one about Bentham's ghost walking the corridors of the building where his body is kept. He has a cane in the case with him, right? And they say they can hear his cane tapping along the hallway before they see him.

I think what gets me most with the mummified baby story is that they gave him a dried fish for a pet.

Philangelus said...

This is bizarre, but why would the judge order the mummy buried after a hundred years? Clearly it wasn't a threat as far as disease, and there was no one who had a claim to the body.

I found the dried fish funny in a morbid way. I wonder if they also gave it Death cereal for breakfast.

Indigo said...

And they say life is stranger than fiction. This proves it. (Hugs)Indigo

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I came over from Janet Reid's blog. This is fascinating on so many levels. In the 1800s, people took photos of dead infants as keepsakes; they made keepsakes, too, of locks of hair; they often sat or laid out someone in the parlor (with tons of flowers to help with the aroma) and held the wake with the dead there. And now there are people who use taxidermy to keep their dead pets at hand. Roy Rogers had his horse stuffed. So is this that much weirder? It is to me, I admit, especially giving the mummy a dead fish. Whatever does that mean?

Loretta Ross said...

but why would the judge order the mummy buried after a hundred years?

I wondered that too, Philangelus. The article said it was because DNA evidence didn't prove conclusively that the mummy was related to the people who had it. Maybe there's some kind of law about the proper disposal of human remains?

Loretta Ross said...

I agree, Indigo! Hugs back! :)

Loretta Ross said...

Tricia, I know what you mean! There's an odd little museum in Nevada, MO, the Bushwacker Museum, that has some examples of wreaths made from human hair. And I came across some really creepy old "dead child" pictures online a while back. I wish I knew where, I'd post a link.

And now, of course, there's a company out of St. Louis that's manufacturing gemstones out of cremains. I guess nothing says "I love you" like cubic zirconium. I've got a short story going that involves that, actually.

Becca C. said...

Someone should write a novel about this! That would be fascinating!

Loretta Ross said...

Hi Becca!

Yeah, the possibilities are . . . frightening, aren't they? Seriously, it could go a lot of different ways. Humor, mystery, horror, psychological character study.

GalaktioNova said...

What was the name of that movie now? Because there _was_ a movie with a similar story, I swear! And it was probably based on a novel or other - re. Becca C.'s comment.

Seriously, when I read your post, I thought these poor people had been inspired by that movie, then I realized it had been long before it. :-)

Spooky. Thanks! :-))

Loretta Ross said...

Gosh, you know, I don't know! I vaguely remember watching a TV movie called Friendships, Secrets, and Lies that had something to do with women who had conspired, as sorority sisters, to hide the fact that one of them had . . . done something . . . involving a baby. Could there have been a mummy in that?

And there was an episode of Quincy where a woman moving into an apartment found mummies in the attic, but they were elderly people.

Hal Z Bennett said...

Hasn't anyone here read William Faulkners "A Rose for Emily?" It was supposedly based on something that really happened. Bottom line was that when the "lady" died they found the long-decomposed remains of her lover in an upstairs bedroom, and on the pillow next to this the gray hairs of...well, Emily. Faulkner's world was bizarre, at times, but this baby thing...hmm. I, too, have stuffed animals, like Janet, but I think they're of the polyester and cotton species.

Loretta Ross said...

Hal, you're right! I'd forgotten A Rose For Miss Emily. I remember reading it in college and how creepy it was. I didn't know that it was supposed to be based on a true story, though. Creepier and creepier!

Jemi Fraser said...

Yikes! And yuck!