Workers at a US op-shop got the fright of their lives after someone put a human skull in one of their donation bins.
Police were called to a charity store in Goodyear, Arizona, after an employee discovered the terrifying find and feared it may be linked to a criminal or missing-persons case.
In an eerie photo shared by a local police department, the skull looks withered and spotted, with what appears to be a prosthetic blue eye attached to the right socket.
There are still a number of teeth attached to the skull’s mouth area.
Goodyear Police Department’s public information officer, Lisa Berry, said at a news conference that the medical examiner’s office studied the skull and found that it is not likely to be related to a criminal case.
“We did speak with the medical examiner’s office, they did confirm that it is in fact a human skull,” she said.
“But at this point, and this is preliminary, it appears to be historic, ancient and does not appear to have any forensic value at all.
“What that means is that no crime is really attached to this skull.”
Ms Berry added that the skull, put into a box, was dropped off to the charity shop’s donation bin at some point over the weekend and was opened by employees on Tuesday.
“The skull did not ever make it to the floor,” she confirmed.
“It was in the donation box, again, with other taxidermy items. This is an unusual one.
“Goodwill did the right thing. Anything suspicious should always be reported.”
Authorities transported the skull to the Maricopa county medical examiner.
A customer told KPHO-TV that they were shocked to hear about the find.
“I’ve never heard of anything donated like this, especially here,” said shopper Sydney Steele.
“I come to this Goodwill all the time and I’ve never heard of anything that crazy being donated.”
An investigation into the skull is ongoing.
The discovery of the skull prompted a slew of reactions online.
“No discount on Halloween items,” one said.
“Looks like someone brought something back from the Pirates ride at Disneyland,” another wrote.
Charity shop employees have made similar startling finds in their donation bins before.
Back in July, employees in an Oklahoma Goodwill discovered Second World War memorabilia, including discharge papers from the US navy and service records and ribbons.
In 2021, employees at another op-shop in North Carolina found a handgun while sorting through a pile of donations, while in 2018, charity shop employees in Texas discovered an albino boa constrictor snake.
Originally published as ‘Unusual’: Police investigate after human skull found in donation bin