A contractor hired to provide an estimate for work that needed to be completed on a Florida woman’s house was shocked to discover jars full of human remains, many said to be tongues, buried under the floorboards. Homeowner Mary Baughman was said to have had no knowledge of the six to eight jars, according to the Gainesville Police Department, but police were immediately notified, Fox 13 reports.
- Who puts human remains under the floorboards of a house? I’m no expert, but I would imagine that one doesn’t bury human remains in jars under the floorboards of a house for any non-nefarious reason. Surely, if you had a legitimate reason to have these organs, you would perhaps put them in a more easily accessible place not hidden away from prying eyes?
- The homeowner’s ex-husband claims it’s all legit. Dr. Ronald Baughman, Mary’s ex-husband, told local news affiliate WCJB that there’s a very innocent explanation for all this. You see, he’s a pathology researcher and needed a place to store the organs that would keep them cool, hence putting them under the floorboards.
- Theoretically, what he says could be true. He has indeed been a professor emeritus at the University of Florida and has worked in pathology for years, so his explanation for the jars full of tongues and other organs sounds plausible enough.
- He meant to take them with him after he and Mary split. Ronald claims that some of the organs go all the way back to the 1960s and that he’d held onto them thinking he might do additional research on them later. However, when he and Mary split, he forgot to take them with him, hence the reason they’re still there today.
- These days, taking organs home would never be allowed. “I don’t know what the policies and laws would have been like 50 years ago or whenever it was, but I can tell you that today that’s not something that would be permitted,” University of Florida spokesperson Steve Orlando told WCJB. “There are very strict federal and state laws as well as university policies that prohibit that. It would be neither appropriate or legal for a faculty member or researcher to bring something like that home.”
- The police believe everything checks out here, but they’re doing their due diligence anyway. “We’ve got no indication that they were trying to hide anything from us or be deceptive about anything,” said Chief Insp. Jorge Campos. “They’ve been forthcoming from the get-go. That’s why in our preliminary investigation we don’t think we have anything criminal. We just need to verify everything.”