Investigation underway after apparent fetuses in jars delivered to Mutter Museum

Tuesday, February 6, 2024
Investigation underway after apparent fetuses delivered to museum
Fetuses mailed to Philadelphia's Mutter Museum

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia police are investigating after staff at the Mütter Museum received a package on Tuesday with what appear to be two preserved fetuses in glass jars.

The incident was reported at about 11:35 a.m. at the museum on the unit block of S. 22nd Street and an investigation was immediately launched.

"I arrived at work today, and there was a package addressed to me with no return address, and I opened it and there were two specimens inside," said Anna Dhody, the museum's curator.

"There were two small fetal specimens. They were in a jar with fluid, and the jars were in baggies and I did not open up the baggie," she said.

According to police, the fetuses have been turned over to the Medical Examiner's Officer for further investigation.

The package reportedly contained a letter that was signed "retired physician" but had no other information. The police department is now working to figure out where the package came from and if the fetuses are real.

Dhody said the two specimens were consistent with a real fetus.

The Mütter Museum is a museum of medical history. It houses over 20,000 unusual specimens, including fetuses. But staff said this is not how they legally or ethically handle specimens.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 215-686-3093.