Human hearts pinned with photos found in cemetery
COLMA, Calif. (KGO) -- A discovery made by a Colma cemetery worker two weeks ago is now the focus of a police investigation. The worker found two plastic jars containing human hearts half buried in an isolated part of Holy Cross Cemetery.
Colma is known as the City of the Dead; over 1.5 million bodies are buried in the city which is home to only 1,500 living people.
Investigators say photos of young couples were pinned to the bottles. Next to jars were partially burned cigars and candles.
Colma police say the San Mateo County Coroner's office examined the organs and discovered that there was evidence of embalming fluids. They most likely came from dead bodies.
Police are looking at the possibility that they had been used in some kind of African-Caribbean spiritual ritual.
Colma Police Cmdr. Jon Read says investigators are looking at some leads from the pictures but would not say if they were close to identifying them. He says the hearts may have been stolen from a mortuary.
But religious studies professor Maryanne Delaporte says police can eliminate the more commonly known Santeria ritual for one obvious reason.
"It's definitely something religious, but I can't think of anything that would be associated with African religions and Catholicism that have anything to do with human body parts; they use animal parts, chickens in particular," she said.
Read points out that it is a crime to dig up body parts and it is also illegal to buy, sell or transport them.
Police say they have some leads based on the photographs.
colma, peninsula news, vic lee
- Target apologizes after massive data breach
- Deputy saves man after crash in Oakland
- Consumer Reports tests handheld gaming devices
- Journals show students' despair, hope
- Dozens hurt after London theater partially collapsed 31 min ago
- 1 dead, dozens hurt in California bus crashes 25 min ago
- Katie Couric's talk show to end after this season
- Four boys cited for wielding replica pistol in Hercules
- Elderly woman punched in SF purse snatching
- Pa. man wins $1M Picasso with $138 raffle ticket
- abcnews: Dennis Rodman does karaoke in NKorea
- Bay Area New Year's Eve fireworks and events
- roundup: Toy drive in need; Timeshare sales scam
- weather: Bay Area weather forecast for Friday 55 min ago
- Bay Area weather forecast for Friday
55 min ago
Most Viewed StoriesMost Viewed Photos