CANON CITY – A Colorado woman is accused of trying to mail three human fetuses, believed to be stillborn from the 1920s, to a buyer in England last year, according to federal court documents.
Emily Suzanne Cain, 38, was indicted earlier this month on a charge of attempted smuggling of goods.
Cain, whose arrest was first reported by 9News, was scheduled on Wednesday to appear in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, where her package was discovered by customs authorities at the airport there last October.
The package was labeled "school teaching ads and t-shirts," but investigators said it contained three human fetuses in glass containers, according to the federal criminal complaint in the case. Authorities searched the package after noticing that a form that declares a package does not contain dangerous items was not signed.
The package also contained a card, with a note apologizing for the delay. The card was signed "Emily" and "G. Howard McGinty Director and Curator of McGinty Fine Oddities" was printed on the card, the complaint said.
U.S. Postal Service officials traced the package to P.O. boxes in Westminster and Canon City that were registered under the name Glenn McGinty. Several weeks later, in November 2018, Cain called the Postal Service to ask about the status of her package. She confirmed the package's tracking number, which matched the package that contained the fetuses, the complaint said.
Homeland Security investigators later searched Cain's Facebook messages.
She had sent one Facebook user pictures of fetuses and a fetal skeleton, offering to sell them for $20,000.
The Facebook user declined to buy the fetuses, and Cain posted: "Absolutely! I'm always happy to show you. Please never hesitate to check in with me and see what we have. We don't always post publicly. Especially with pieces like these..."
In a message to another Facebook user, Cain sent pictures of four fetuses, three of which were later seized in San Francisco, the complaint said. She later sold a fetus to the same Facebook user for $500, and the user later confirmed receiving the package, according to the complaint.
In another message to a Facebook user, she said she had human bones and fetuses that were for sale. She sent pictures of the bones and fetuses, and they included the three fetuses found in the package in San Francisco, the complaint said.
In the message, she told the Facebook user that she had purchased the specimens from a woman at a medical department for a university.
Authorities said they followed up with the lab, at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., and the school confirmed that the fetuses had belonged to the lab.
The fetuses were believed to be stillborn that were donated to Creighton between 1920 and 1930, the complaint said. The university told authorities that its policy is to cremate fetuses that aren't kept by the lab.