Police are investigating a California woman after the remains of two infants or fetuses were discovered in a Placer County storage locker.
KCRA News reports Regina Zimmer purchased the contents of the storage locker at auction last month.
She and her son made the grisly discovery Nov. 25 when they found a small, sealed box as they were going through the locker’s various items.
“It said fragile on the top,” Zimmer said. “And we opened it up, and the smell that came out was horrible.”
She couldn’t believe what she saw.
“It was a little skull,” she explained. “It looked like it was in three pieces (with) some hair. And you could see a jawbone.”
Zimmer called police who subsequently searched the storage locker and found the remains of another baby or fetus.
A deputy coroner confirmed with The Sacramento Bee that the remains are human.
Lt. John Poretti, with the Placer County Sheriff's Department, said investigators believe they have identified the mother of the babies — a 32-year-old woman who has not been named.
“We're doing a search warrant for DNA and medical backgrounds,” Poretti said.
The coroner will also perform autopsies on the remains to find a cause of death, he said.
Determining that may be difficult. Investigators believe the remains could have been in the storage locker for at least six months.
“The remains were in very, very poor condition,” Poretti said. “I mean, there was no easy way to tell exactly what it was we had.”
“We’re trying to determine the age of the fetus, if it was a viable fetus or if it was a miscarriage, and then it’s just the illegal dumping of human remains if that’s the case,” Poretti told CBS-Sacramento.
If the babies were alive then the suspect could face murder charges.
California law allows mothers to drop of healthy but unwanted babies at multiple locations including fire stations.