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The case of the missing craniums: Box of human heads stolen in bizarre truck theft

Flagged for medical research, the heads went missing from a parked truck in a Colorado neighborhood.

By Benjamin Bullard
Heads in a box

It’s like a mystery out of a CSI episode — or maybe even something more bizarre. But unlike the forensics-laced crime dramas that probe the weird and the macabre on television, the strange case that police are investigating in Denver, Colorado is no fiction.

One day last week, a box containing severed human heads reportedly went missing from a freight truck parked in the city’s downtown. So far, according to local media, police don’t know who did it, and more curiously, they don’t have a motive.

Denver’s Fox 31 TV news reports that the head-containing the box wasn’t large, measuring 20 x 15 x 18 inches. Last seen inside a delivery truck that was parked in the family-friendly neighborhood of Central Park just east of downtown, the blue-and-white box reportedly bore a label — “Science Care” —  on the outside, with The Denver Post reporting that the box was also labeled “Exempt Human Specimen.”

Pretty obvious, then, that the box and its contents were destined for use in medical research of some kind. Science Care is a body donation company with offices in nearby Aurora that arranges for no-cost contributions of human remains for eligible candidates who wish to allow their bodies to be used for research. Unlike organ donation, the donations of human remains that Science Care facilitates are meant to be studied rather than transplanted into living patients — or, as the company’s FAQ puts it, “Donating your body to science is a non-transplant option helping to save countless lives through supporting medical research and education.”

Just to make sure we’re separating the crime from its seemingly sensational nature, there’s nothing criminal about the missing cargo itself — however strange a target a box of human heads might be for common theft. But it’s definitely a crime to steal, and FOX 31 reports that the box, along with a freight dolly, were the only items taken in the incident.

The heads reportedly were taken somewhere between the afternoon of Wednesday, March 3 and the morning of Thursday, March 4, and the police are asking the public to help out with this one. Contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913–7867 if, for whatever reason (and we’re not asking), you have info that can help them solve the case of the missing craniums.

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