Dozens of human heads were intercepted by a Southwest Airlines employee last week, the airline confirmed Thursday.
The heads, which were intercepted in Little Rock, Ark., were handed over to local officials who are now investigating whether or not the heads were properly obtained.
Southwest officials said the airline refused to ship the package because it was not labeled correctly. "And then when we found out what was in the package, we contacted local authorities and they contacted the coroner," said airline spokesman Marilee McInnish.
The package was on its way to the Fort Worth office of Medtronic, a Minnesota-based medical research and technology company, NBC's affiliate in Dallas Fort-Worth reported. Little Rock police handed the package over to the country coroner.
The coroner is currently investigating whether the heads were legally obtained.
"We've come to the conclusion that there is a black market out there for human body parts for research or for whatever reason," Pulaski County coroner Garland Camper told NBC Dallas Fort-Worth. "We just want to make sure these specimens here aren't a part of that black market and underground trade."
McInnish said it was her understanding that the heads were going to be used for educational and research purposes.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Southwest intercepts package containing dozens of human heads.
Try not to lose your head when you travel. From MSNBC: