Gruesome Find Unearthed in Peninsula Cemetery - NBC Bay Area

Gruesome Find Unearthed in Peninsula Cemetery

Couples' photos found pinned to human hearts in jars



    Gruesome Find Unearthed in Peninsula Cemetery
    Getty Images
    LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 02: The shadow of a cemetery worker is cast on reclaimed gravestones in London City Cemetery on March 2, 2009 in London, England. The cemetery is piloting a scheme whereby graves over 75 years old become eligible for reclamation. New interments will be placed into the existing graves, the headstones will be turned around and re-used, carving the names of the newly deceased. Once a grave has been earmarked by English heritage the cemetery must wait one year to see if family members claim the existing grave. By conserving as many memorials as possible the City of London hopes to maintain the historic cemetery landscape and sustain buriel provisions for the future. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

    There are a lot of unanswered questions after a gruesome find in a Peninsula cemetery.

    A maintenance worker was working in an isolated part of Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery on Oct. 12 when he saw the tops of two jars sticking out of the ground. He pulled one of the jars out of the ground and saw a human heart with a photo of a young man and woman pinned to it, police said.

    The second jar had another human heart but with a photo of a different couple. Police also found partially burned cigars and candles. Both of the couples look to be in their early 20s and the pictures were not professionally taken, police told Bay City News.

    The San Mateo County Coroner's Office says the hearts likely came from corpses because embalming fluid was found on them.  A pathologist examined the organs and determined that they had been surgically removed from bodies that had undergone autopsies.

    There have been no reports of graves being dug up in Colma, which is home to 16 cemeteries, or any other city in San Mateo County.

    The investigation is pointing "toward some kind of ritual involving Santeria," Colma police Cmdr. Jon Read told the San Mateo County Times. But an expert told the paper that Santeria rituals don't involve human organs. There was no indcation of how long the bodies from which the hearts were removed had been dead, Read said.

    Colma cops are working with other law enforcement agencies in the investigation.