One shopper got a spooky surprise when she reportedly stumbled on a human skull in a Florida thrift store. Turns out that what she thought was a decorative item, might actually be the remains of a human.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office in Fort Meyers, Florida, shared the bizarre story on their official Meta page on Nov. 4. According to the post, the shopper is a certified anthropologist. Given her background, police say she “recognized [the skull] to be human.”
According to Newsweek, the anthropologist contacted the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. Shortly after, detectives pulled up to Paradise Vintage Market, located on North Cleveland Avenue, to further investigate.
“Based upon the observations of detectives on scene, the skull is believed to be that of a human,” the Sheriff’s Office stated in their post.
Detectives questioned the shop owner about the human skull. They revealed locating the alleged human body part in boxes from a storage unit purchased before September 2022.
Managing partner of Paradise Vintage, Beth Meyer, told Newsweek the incident has been “interesting and unusual.” She confirmed that she purchased the storage unit, but its items reportedly sat in her guest bedroom for an entire year. She denies knowing any additional information about the skull’s origins.
“I actually put the skull on display in my rock shop a year later in September 2023,” Beth said. “I thought it would be interesting to have out for Halloween.”
There is no additional information available about the storage unit or its previous owner at this time.
Medical Examiner Is Running Tests On Found Human Skull
For now, it appears that local authorities aren’t too pressed about how a human skull ended up in an antique store. In fact, the Meta post declared that the case “is not suspicious in nature.”
“This is definitely different,” LCSO Captain Anita Iriarte told Newsweek on Sunday. “We don’t usually get a call from an antique store that there’s a human skull on the floor.”
Still, the law enforcement agency plans to work with the District 21 Medical Examiner’s Office to “facilitate further testing of the skull.” Initial tests have confirmed that the recovered item constitutes real human remains.
After the local medical examiner completes their tests, the skull will be sent to Gainsville for more testing. Authorities hope to learn more about where it came from and how old it is. The anthropologist told both Meyer and the cops that she believed the human skull was Native American.
“The anthropologist came into the store, and gave a very informative and educational explanation as to why she thought it was Native American. The medical examiner came in, bagged and tagged the skull, and took it to the lab for testing. If it is Native American, it will be returned to one of the local tribes and we will have a ceremony,” Meyer said.