A man on a fishing trip in the Ural mountains stumbled onto a number of mysterious barrels in the forest on Sunday, but when one tipped over and cracked open, he made a horrifying discovery.
The fisherman’s friend, Sergei Tvritinov, recounted the discovery to Russia’s Channel 4 News:
“A friend of mine called at night and said he went finishing and wanted to get some wood for his fire. He found some abandoned water canisters and wanted to take them for his house. And when he came up, he saw… little baby bodies.”
When police showed up the following day, they discovered 248 human fetuses, aged anywhere from 12 to 16 weeks, stored in the canisters, all of which shriveled and mummified when exposed to the air. Stranger yet is that the tiny embryos are at least a decade old, each of them individually numbered and bearing their mother’s names on small ID cards, a practice frowned upon by most Russian hospitals performing abortions.
Authorities believe the canisters were thrown from a truck tasked with disposing medical waste from any of the surrounding cities’ medical facilities, though all biological waste is legally required the be individually sealed and immediately destroyed, making this case exceptionally odd, as the fetuses were found stored together in formalin.
The fetuses have been placed in a morgue while prosecutors decide on charges to lay, and who gets them.