Curator of 'Macabre' Museum Gets Macabre Package in Mail

Anonymous mailing of 2 preserved fetuses prompts Philly's Mutter Museum to call the cops
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2024 10:40 AM CST
Curator of 'Macabre' Museum Gets Macabre Package in Mail
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/SomeMeans)

On Tuesday, Anna Dhody, the curator of Philadelphia's Mutter Museum—known for its "macabre curiosities"—received a package at work addressed to her, with no return address. What she found inside has now started a police investigation: two preserved fetuses floating in fluid in glass jars, with not much of a clue on where they came from or why they were sent to the museum. "There was no identifying information," Dhody tells CBS News. "[The sender] just identified themselves as a retired physician."

The museum already has fetuses among its displays—as well as "skeletons, organs, and other human remains showcasing rare pathologies," per the Philadelphia Inquirer—but Dhody says this was a most unusual way to attempt to add a new sample to the museum's lineup. "I have been here for almost 20 years and I have never received human remains anonymously in the mail," she tells NBC Philadelphia. "This was definitely out of the ordinary."

Dhody notes that because they don't know who sent the fetuses, the museum can't accept them—and because human remains were involved, she called the cops. "I saw the letter and was like, 'Oh no, no no, I have to make a few calls," she tells the Inquirer. The fetuses are said to have since been turned over to the city's medical examiner. Police are asking anyone with information about the package to call 215-686-3093 or text the police tip line at 215-686-TIPS (8477).

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