Mt. Healthy, Ohio: On the night of Thursday, March 24, officers were called after a man discovered what he reported to be a box of human remains.
Officers made contact with the man who told them that he had heard juveniles outside in the area of a detached garage and had gone outside to investigate. According to his statement, he found the garage opened and looked inside. That was when he discovered a box he believed to contain decomposed human remains.
The Mt. Healthy Police Department updated their post on Facebook the following morning to indicate that "the human remains found were relics used by a group known as the Independent Order of Odd Fellows as a part of their organization's rituals."
The Odd Fellows was founded in England by the 1700s according to their website and had a lodge located in Mt. Healthy.
It is unclear when that lodge closed, but according to investigators, when it did close, the building and it's contents were purchased by the family that ran a grocery store on the first floor of the building.
"I got to tell you, it's one of the most bizarre cases in my 40 plus year history that we ever stumbled across," WLWT quoted Mt. Healthy Police Chief Vince Demasi as saying. "I don't exactly know what to think about it,. but I tend to believe it."
"My understanding is back in the late 1800s, early 1900s, that it was not unusual for unclaimed cadavers to be able to be purchased for various uses," Demasi explained.
The remains are believed to be at least a 100 years old and are now in the custody of the Hamilton County Coroner's Office.
Speaking with the Cincinnati Enquirer, Penny Castle, grand secretary for the Grand Lodge of Ohio said that the use of bones during rituals were intended as a lesson on the frailty of life.
"The ones I've seen have been plastic or paper-maché. The ones years ago may have been different."
The investigation is ongoing.