Medical Examiner seeks public help: Who donated the human skulls?

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Three human skulls that were donated to a local thrift store are prompting the King County Medical Examiner’s Office to turn to the public for assistance.

There is no information regarding who donated the three skulls to the Bellevue Goodwill, or how they came to be in his/her possession.

Two of the skulls are adult specimens that were clearly used in a medical clinic or instruction. The third skull is very old and appears to be the fragile remains of a Native American child.

The Native American skull must be repatriated to its tribe of origin, by state law. However, additional details are needed to properly identify the correct tribe or tribes. The Medical Examiner is requesting that the private citizen who donated the skulls provide information, without penalty, about the origin of the child’s skull.

The skulls were donated in June to the Bellevue Goodwill, at 14515 NE 20th St, Bellevue. Employees there realized the skulls were authentic human remains and followed proper procedure by contacting the Medical Examiner’s Office and law enforcement.

The skulls provide a reminder that skeletal remains — even those used for teaching purposes — should always be handled with respect. If you are given or inherit clinical or archaeological remains, you can turn them in without penalty to the Medical Examiner’s Office. If you inadvertently discover human remains, buried or in a public place, you must notify law enforcement.
Anyone with information should contact the King County Medical Examiner’s Office at (206) 731-3232, ext. 1.

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