Published on Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Severed human heads found at Chicago O'Hare airport

Customs officials at Chicago O'Hare International Airport found three coolers containing 18 severed human heads on Monday.

The coolers were apparently shipped from a research facility in Rome, flying in from a Lufthansa Airlines flight prior to Christmas.  The destination of the coolers was not clearly marked and officials are saying an apparent "paperwork snafu" lead to the gruesome find.

Brian Bell, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security told CBS Chicago that the shipment of body parts for medical purposes is a legitimate and somewhat common occurrence.

"Everybody here is 'Oh my gosh, you got a box of heads' and everybody thinks that it's unheard of," Bell said. "It is a potentially legitimate medical shipment. We've seen it at various ports in the nation."

The heads were first handed over to the Cook County Medical Examiner to make sure they weren't victims of foul play.  Officials are trying to track down the missing recipient.

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