LAKEWOOD, Colo. - Lakewood police are investigating the discovery of possible human bones and items which, they say, may have been used in "occult" religious ceremonies.
The bones were found in a tool shed outside a vacant home on Kline Street.
They were discovered by a cleaning crew hired by the realtor, to help prepare the property for possible sale or rent. That cleaning crew called police.
"We got a search warrant for the entire property," said police department spokesman Steve Davis. "Detectives found an estimated 15 to 20 bones in the shed. Most were obviously animal bones, but some may have been human.”
Neighbors were surprised by the discovery and a possible connection to the “occult.”
Scott and Kelly Keller told 7NEWS they had no idea there were bones in the shed.
"It's disturbing," Scott Keller said. If any occult rituals were being conducted at the home, "that would kind of be a scary thing to have that next door to you," the neighbor added.
Another neighbor, who lives across the street, said she saw all the police activity Thursday and wondered what was going on. She too was surprised to learn about the bones.
Davis said the few bones that are thought to be human have been sent to an out of state lab for testing. That process may take several weeks or months.
"We want to find if they are in fact human," Davis said. "If so, we want to see if we can recover DNA to determine how old they are, when the person died and possibly the gender."
Along with the bones, Davis said detectives also found what appeared to be an "occult altar" with a machete and some candles.
"It just appears that they were used in some type of 'occult' ceremony," Davis said. "At this point we have no evidence to suspect that any kind of crime has been committed."
Davis told 7NEWS that investigators brought out search dogs trained to look for decomposing bodies.
“They didn’t find anything,” he said.
When asked what kind of animal bones were found, Davis replied, "A goat."
The cleaning crew placed the contents of the house and shed in a roll off dumpster.
A near life-size human figurine, wearing a beaded necklace, lies on the grass outside the dumpster, with a crown nearby.
Davis said that in talking to relatives of the man who lived in the house about 15 years ago, they determined that he was possibly an “occultist.”
"He moved from the property about years ago and is now deceased," Davis said.
Davis added that the objects in the shed were "extremely soiled and dust covered and very possibly may have been undisturbed" since the man moved out.
He said one of the man’s relatives had lived at the house until a few months ago.
Even if the bones are confirmed to be human, Davis said, "Detectives say it may prove very difficult to determine when and where they were obtained."
Detectives are asking anyone who may information that would assist them in their investigation to call the Lakewood Police Department at 303-987-7111.