(ABC News) – Relatives of a recently deceased 66-year-old woman discovered the skeletal remains of two infants in a footlocker at her northeast Ohio home, police said Tuesday.
A man contacted investigators after he and a cousin found the remains Monday in the locked container while cleaning out his mother’s mobile home in North Canton, about 45 miles southeast of Cleveland. The woman died in late November, police said.
It’s not clear how old the remains are, but it doesn’t appear the children died recently, North Canton police Chief Stephan Wilder said.
The remains, including a partial skull and other small bones, were in a plastic bag that was in the worn, light blue locker with a small blanket and other items, Wilder said. He said the bag also appeared to contain some sort of cloth that had deteriorated.
“It’s a sad case to have to investigate,” Wilder said.
Investigators searched the home but found nothing else noteworthy.
The Stark County coroner’s office confirmed the remains were those of two infants, and the office plans to have them examined by anthropologists at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa. That examination and a DNA analysis could help address lingering questions, including the ages and gender of the children, but it’s not clear if there is enough evidence to determine what happened to them, Wilder said.
The man who found the remains was stunned and has cooperated with investigators, the chief said.
“I think he was, you know, alarmed or shocked by what he found in his mother’s belongings,” Wilder said.
Police are reaching out to other relatives in hopes of learning more about the remains.