Ore. girl finds an actual skeleton in a closet

Ore. girl finds an actual skeleton in a closet

SCIO, Ore. - A teenager in Scio was helping clean out closets in an old lodge recently when she made an eerie discovery: a casket with a set of human bones inside.

Jennifer Minten knew the Independent Order of Odd Fellows lodge hadn’t been cleaned in a while, so she opened some cabinets in the building to see what was inside.

There were some trinkets in the front, then a strange black box behind. It turns out that box was a casket full of human bones. She immediately called to her mom.

“Um, mom, these are real,” she recalled saying. “These are kind of like a jaw bone, looked like the skull had been autopsied.”

The Linn County Sheriff said the bones could be anywhere from 50 to 150 years old, although he doesn’t think it’s the original casket. The box is small, but the bones are from a fairly tall, muscular, adult man.

“The bones appear to be extremely old,” Sheriff Tim Mueller said.

The coffin has water damage from the Columbus Day storm of 1962, so the box is at least that old.

The Odd Fellows are a fraternal organization that started in 1856. Minten said it’s not unusual for them to use props in ceremonies, although today the prop bones would be plastic.

“It symbolizes that you start out as dust and you return to dust and that while you’re here on earth and while you’re living you need to do something good for your community,” she said.

Sheriff Mueller said the group kept good records, which might help investigators identify whose bones these are. The medical examiner will also use dental records in an effort to ID the person.

The sheriff does not believe this person was murdered.