Fishing trip turns to horror as man finds 248 human foetuses dumped in forest
The 248 fully-formed embryos had been stashed inside four huge vats of formaldehyde and dumped near the town of Nevyansk, in the industrial heart of Russia’s Ural Mountains. And in a particularly chilling twist, the family names of their mothers even appeared to be written on labels attached to their tiny hands and legs (inset).
A Russian fishing trip turned to horror when a man collecting firewood in the dead of night stumbled across hundreds of human foetuses scattered in the woods.
The 248 embryos, most of which were already formed into babies’ bodies, had been stashed inside four huge vats of formaldehyde and dumped near the town of Nevyansk, in the industrial heartland of Russia’s Ural Mountains.
It is unclear how long the 15-centimetre bodies, aged between 12 and 16 weeks, had been lying in the dusty wilderness but some had shrunk as if mummified.
And in a particularly chilling twist, what appear to be the the family names of their mothers were even written on labels attached to their tiny hands and legs.
Given the state of the embryos and unconfirmed dates on the labels, Russian police believe some could have been born as long as ten years ago.
‘A friend of mine called at night and said he went finishing and wanted to get some wood for his fire, a local told Russia’s Channel 4 today.
‘He found some abandoned water canisters and wanted to take them for his house. And when he came up, he saw… little baby bodies.’
The four friends noticed the contents because some of the lids to the vats had popped open when they were dropped and some of the embryos had spilled to the ground.
Nevyansk authorities were eager to distance themselves from the grisly find.
‘Our area is too small; we can’t have so many stillborns, miscarriages or artificial abortions,’ said a spokesman.
A spokesman for the regional police said the horrifying find was ‘biological waste’ from four nearby medical facilities in Ekaterinburg, the region’s major city.
‘It appears a waste disposal company has failed to carry out its duties properly,’ he added.
In Russia, embryos are classed as a hazardous wasted and are disposed of immediately. However they are always sealed into air-tight packages before disposal, never large plastic containers.
It is neither common practice to attach labels to the bodies of embryos due to be disposed of.
Police have now launched an investigation into how the gruesome content was dumped in public land and what they were being used for.
One theory is that they may have been used for medical studies, such as stem cell research.