Jars of human remains found in vacant home now missing

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

CALEDONIA -- Caledonia police say several jars of human remains found in a vacant home in Caledonia last week are now missing. 

According to FOX6's media partners at the Caledonia Patch, a young couple, Makayla Harrell and her boyfriend, Darin Renaud, discovered three jars of human body parts inside an open garage to a vacant home on Three Mile Road, just off Highway 31.

The couple had gone to the vacant home after a friend told them she saw the remains after she visited the house while she was taking pictures for her job.

FOX6 News spoke with Makayla Harrell Wednesday, June 13th.

"As soon as I saw it, I took pictures because I didn't plan on coming back," Harrell said.

Harrell said when she saw the jars, she felt compelled to tell her father and show him the pictures. He encouraged her to contact police.

Officials say they responded to a call regarding the open garage and jars of human remains around 1 p.m. Saturday, June 9th. However, officials say when they arrived on the scene to investigate, the jars of human remains were gone.

Caledonia police say the current owner of the eight-plus acre, $450,000 home, Alan Ruud, who also owns Ruud Lighting, had a restoration company at the property who was taking pictures of the house. Ruud has never been to the property before and had no clue what was still there.

Authorities say the jars contained different body parts. One contained half a human brain, another had two eyeballs that had been cut open and the third jar contained an unidentifiable organ.

Police and neighbors say a doctor, who was a pathologist at the time, owned the property years ago. Police and neighbors believe he might have had the jars for teaching and medical school purposes. That doctor now works as a neurologist, and is currently practicing in South Dakota.

Police say they are actively investigating, but don't believe there is any criminal activity involved.

"It seems macabre, but when you look at it in perspective, we have somebody that was a pathologist, who has some items that were probably used for display purposes, and it's not as bizarre as one might think," Caledonia Police Lieutenant Gary Larson said.

Police are working on contacting the doctor to confirm the purpose of the jars. Officials believe the doctor may have just forgotten the jars inside the garage when he moved out.

The young couple who reported the jars say they appear to have been there for years. They were reportedly covered in spider webs and their condition was deteriorated.

Also found in the garage were two cars that don't appear to have been moved and a dead opossum.

“They (the human remains) looked like they had been there for very long time. There were bugs all over it. There were spider webs all around it. The fluid in the jar was discolored and it was evaporating," Harrell said.

Caledonia Police Lt. Larson says whoever has the jars should be aware that they may be at risk.

"You don't want to have contact with formaldehyde on your skin for prolonged periods of time, and we would rather that the items be returned so that we can make sure the formaldehyde, and the organs are properly-disposed of," Lt. Larson said.

CLICK HERE for more on this story from FOX6's media partners at the Caledonia Patch.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.