After a homeless man in Florida found a human skull, Publix shoppers were freaked out because the homeless man proceeded to use the human skull as a puppet. The homeless man claims he was simply trying to get everyone’s attention since he had found a human skeleton in the woods and wanted to get hold of the Indian River County Sheriff’s office. But now police officers are faced with a greater mystery since they do not know if the body belongs to a known missing person, or how the person died.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, a Florida man is behind bars after being accused of stealing human remains from graves.
The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office says in a news release that deputies were alerted to the discovery by shoppers. It is said the homeless walked into the parking lot at Riverwalk Plaza in Roseland carrying the human skull. After the homeless man began showing off the human skull, Publix workers called the police.
“He had put the skull on top of a trash can over there because he wanted to tell somebody to call the sheriff’s office,” Indian River County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Thomas Raulen explained, according to the Associated Press.
Unfortunately, when the homeless man brandished the human skull, Publix customers said this cry for help became a little weird.
“He was using it as a puppet,” said witness Nick Pecoraro, according to WPBF. “It smelled like death.”
Pecoraro says he called 911 shortly after he saw the homeless playing with the human skull. Publix customers apparently saw the homeless talking to the human skull like it was a puppet while he was showing it off to anyone who walked by in the store.
“It’s definitely a human skull; it’s still got teeth in it,” Pecoraro told a 911 dispatcher in the 911 call recording. “I’m standing in front of it, but I’m not touching (it),” he said.
Indian River County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Raulen said that after police officers arrived, the homeless man took them to a nearby wooded area where transients were known to live. The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office spokesman believes it is unlikely that the unknown victim was decapitated, but the “body was deteriorated for so long that the skull was simply sitting there with the rest of the bones.”
Deputies said the wooded area is known to be frequented by homeless people, but the remains were not located close to any known camps for the homeless. The identity of the homeless man was also not released to the public.
In a Facebook post, the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office gave more details about the Publix skull incident. As shown on this map photo, the human remains were found approximately 200 feet east of highway U.S. 1.
The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Services, Criminal Investigations, and Uniform Patrol units are working with the Medical Examiner investigator in order to discover the identity of the human remains. The human skeleton was carted off to the Medical Examiner’s Office where police will attempt to determine the cause of death and identity of the remains.
As of this publishing, the identity or sex of the human remains has yet to be announced. The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office says the small homeless population living in the woods have attempted to help police officers. They have provided a name to investigators, but police have yet to confirm if the identity is correct. In regard to the human skull, Publix corporate has yet to add anything official to the account.
Anyone with information related the Publix skull incident, including the potential name of the deceased, is asked to contact Detective Kevin Heinig at 772-978-6121. Those wishing to remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward up to $1,000 can provide information through Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-800-273-8477 or www.tcwatch.org.
[Image via Jessica Gillespie/Twitter]