Washington: A shipment of 18 human heads, still covered in skin, has been held at Chicago O`Hare International Airport by US Customs and Border Patrol.
Customs officials seized the heads for investigation before handing them over to the Cook County Medical Examiner`s office.
Tony Brucci, chief of investigations at the medical examiner’s office told ABC News that theye were involved as they couldn’t store the heads any longer.
He said that they will be examining the heads in the autopsy room, but there is no foul play suspected in the collection of the heads.
According to the report, the heads were en route to a research facility near Chicago, but there was a glitch in the paperwork.
Researchers in Rome had been using the embalmed heads, but shipped them to the United States for cremation at a facility near Chicago, the report said.
Brucci said that doctors, medical facilities and research organizations often ship human body parts. This shipment raised flags because of the paperwork problem, the report added.
According to the report, in 2010, a shipment of up to 60 human heads and parts of heads was seized at an airport in Arkansas. Those heads were intended for medical training but were stopped in transit because of improper packaging and errors in the paperwork.