Suitcase Filled With Human Bones Mysteriously Appears In Cemetery - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Suitcase Filled With Human Bones Mysteriously Appears In Cemetery

By James Zambroski

(LOUISVILLE) -- Louisville metro homicide detectives have a mystery on their hands, but they don't know if it's a prank or a deadly crime, after bones were found in a suitcase dropped off at a city cemetery. WAVE 3 Investigator James Zambroski reports.

A worker doing routine maintenance at Calvary Cemetery in the 1600 block of Newburg Road found the suitcase on a hillside near granite markers.

Officials said they knew the bones were human as soon as they opened the luggage.

"They were, to me, pretty obvious that they were human remains because we have some jaws," said Javier Fajardo, executive director of Calvary Cemetery, which is owned by the Archdiocese of Louisville.

The worker opened the suitcase, then took it to the cemetery office. Police and the coroner's office were then called.

The case is an antique, with a faded sticker on the side. It was found upright, with a decoration--or perhaps, signal--resting on top. Flowers were placed nearby.

"There was a hat on the suitcase and the flowers, we don't know if they belonged actually to the suitcase or some other place, we don't know," said Fajardo.

LMPD homicide detectives say they are conducting a corpse investigation.

"We will work in conjunction with the coroner's office and the medical examiner's office and look for them for assistance in this investigation," said Sgt. Troy Pitcock.

That, hopefully, will determine the manner of death for the bones in the bag and perhaps details about the identity of the body.

Detectives will also review missing persons reports, Pitcock said.

Fajardo said the cemetery gates are closed and locked at dusk. A security person makes rounds through the cemetery before the gates are closed but there is no all night surveillance on the premises.

Police are uncertain if the bag was left during regular business hours or if someone scaled the fence and left it. Until the coroner rules on the manner and cause of death, all options, including the possibility that the person was murdered, remains on the table.

"That's something we would ask the public's help on," Pitcock said. "Anyone that has any information on how these bones could have got there, when, where, how, we'd appreciate any information someone could share with us."

A cemetery-wide inspection Monday showed one place the bones didn't come from.

"No reportings of graves being disturbed have been filed with the office," Fajardo said.

The coroner's office says the bones are very old. Even if an autopsy and investigation by the medical examiner's office reveal that no crime occurred in the death, police will consider filing abuse of corpse charges, a felony.

Anyone with information is asked to call 574-LMPD.

Online Reporter: James Zambroski

Online Producer: Michael Dever

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