Chicago officials investigate human bones
sent to Japanese consulate
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[September 22, 2014]
By Mary Wisniewski
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Chicago authorities
are trying to solve a mystery over a box of human bones that were sent
to the Japanese consulate, along with a letter saying they were the
remains of soldiers who died during World War Two, police said on
The box of bones, which included two human skulls, was sent to the
Chicago consulate in mid-June from Rochester, Minnesota, said
Chicago Police Officer Thomas Sweeney.
Along with the package was a letter saying the bones belonged to two
soldiers who died in the Pacific theater of the war, and requesting
that they be returned to Japan, Sweeney said.
Consulate officials reported the box to the Japanese government in
Tokyo, according to consul Shinichiro Nakamura. Nakamura described
what police called a letter as an "application form."
Police said that photos of the bones were reviewed by a Japanese
pathologist, who indicated that they may not be of Japanese descent.
Not knowing what the bones were, the consulate consulted with
Chicago police this week, Nakamura said. The remains were sent to
the Cook County Medical Examiner's office, and have been sent out
for an anthropological study.
"We want to find out what kind of bones they are, what age they
are," said Frank Shuftan, a spokesman for the Medical Examiner.
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Nakamura said the office receives World War Two mementos two or
three times a month - generally a flag or some other item that
belonged to a recently deceased veteran, and whose child or
grandchild now wants it returned to Japan.
(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Sandra Maler)
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