Skulls, Bones Found in Closet at Japanese Consulate

Letter found with box in Chicago says remains are of 2 Japanese war vets
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2014 12:57 PM CDT
Skulls, Bones Found in Closet at Japanese Consulate
Stock image   (Shutterstock)

Everyone has skeletons in their closet of some sort, but the Japanese Consulate in Chicago actually, literally does—or did, anyway. A worker told police that a box filled with two skulls and a bunch of bones was discovered by staffers yesterday in a closet that the consulate's previous management had used, the Chicago Tribune reports. With the box was a letter postmarked in June from Rochester, Minn., informing the consulate that the bones belonged to two Japanese WWII vets and asking the consulate to return the bones to Japan for burial.

The anonymous sender said in the letter that the remains were of two soldiers who had been killed on Tinian Island, which, according to the National Park Service, is the island in the Pacific's Marianas that served as the launching pad for planes that dropped the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs. Interviews with members of the former consulate staff revealed that they had sent photos of the bones to a pathologist when the box originally showed up back on June 17—but the results came back a couple of months later saying the bones "may not be of Japanese descent," according to the police report cited in the Tribune. The remains are now reportedly with the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. (This woman found 80 skeletons stuffed into Ikea bags in a Swedish church.)

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