Body Farm missing skulls, UT spokesman says : Local News : Knoxville News Sentinel

By | March 1, 2009

Body Farm missing skulls UT spokesman says  Local News  Knoxville News Sentinel

If you see any stray skulls lying around the Body Farm wants them back. University of Tennessee police want to know who stole the human skulls from UT s world-famous anthropological research center off Alcoa Highway. Other body parts might have been stolen as well UT spokesman Jay Mayfield said. Officials believe the theft happened earlier this week although it didn t become apparent until Friday afternoon. “We discovered the breach today ” Mayfield said. “It is not complete skeletons missing . That s a definite. It s too early to say whether it s just skulls.”

The acre of property off Alcoa Highway serves as home to 197 corpses in various stages of decay used by forensic anthropologists to study human decomposition. The farm and its founder professor emeritus William Bass have been the subject of books documentaries and television shows since its creation in 1981. Author Patricia Cornwell helped make the center famous with her 1994 book “The Body Farm.” Bass drew on research performed at the farm to help solve cases that have ranged from local killings to the death of J.P. “the Big Bopper” Richardson. Workers noticed a skull out of place and some body parts missing earlier in the week but assumed an animal had carried them off Mayfield said.

“They were still in the testing stages ” he said. “They were not buried.” A security check Friday discovered a tree across the farm s double fence. A chain-link and a wooden rail fence surround the property bordered by trees on three sides. Workers inspect the fence at least once a week Mayfield said. “There are no cameras just physical security ” he said. “This apparently happened sometime over the course of the past week.” The theft marks the first time someone s invaded the farm since its creation in 1981 Mayfield said. Someone stole a camera from the forensic center years ago but no one s ever tried to carry off any body parts he said. UT police asked that anyone with information in the case call 865-974-3111.

via Body Farm missing skulls, UT spokesman says : Local News : Knoxville News Sentinel.

The beginning of some new secret college club?

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