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Skulls mailed to BYU department

Two human skulls, which appear to be ancient artifacts and not remains from a recent incident, were recently mailed to the Brigham Young University history department. Police are having a hard time tracking down the source.
Two human skulls, which appear to be ancient artifacts and not remains from a recent incident, were recently mailed to the Brigham Young University history department. Police are having a hard time tracking down the source.
Steve Landeen, Deseret News

PROVO — Two human skulls were recently mailed to the Brigham Young University history department and police are having a hard time tracking down the source.

Although they came wrapped in plastic and packed in a Priority Mail box delivered by the U.S. Postal Service, from a "Jim Crow, Route 3-126, Augusta, Mont.," no one can confirm whether a person by that name or even the address truly exist. The package contained no explanation of its contents and was actually addressed to the "BYU Historical Department," a department that doesn't exist.

The skulls, one from an adult and the other, likely a child, appear to be ancient artifacts and not remains from any recent incident, but without any idea of their origin, it is up to the state archaeological society to provide some conclusions for both the recipient at BYU's history department and police. The age of the skulls, as well as the ethnicity, have yet to be determined, but they arrived with dirt still on them.

"Why here? We don't know," said BYU Police Sgt. Mike Mock.

The box was opened by a BYU employee on Monday and that person immediately notified police.

Mock says police believe the skulls might be Native American and in light of recent artifact possession indictments in southeastern Utah, the sender might have decided that possessing the skulls was a bad idea.

Investigators believe that by sending the skulls to a university, it was presumed someone on campus would know what to do with them.

"No note at all," Mock said.

Investigators said it does not appear that the skulls being mailed to the private university is an act of foul play, even so close to Halloween, however, they're anxious to find answers as to why.

e-mail: spenrod@desnews.com, wleonard@desnews.com