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Human Skull in Shop Triggers Investigation

Media descends on "Omi Relekun" in Compton, Calif.
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 24, 2016 4:40 PM CST
Human Skull in Shop Triggers Investigation
A news television cameraman tapes the outside of botanica called Omi Relekun in Compton, Calif., Friday Jan. 22, 2016.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(Newser) – Authorities have found one human skull and eight containers with potentially more at a Los Angeles-area shop that sells spiritual items. Los Angeles County sheriff's Capt. Steve Katz says deputies responded to the Compton business Friday after a woman complained of animal cruelty. When investigators arrived, Katz says they found a skull inside a pot. He says the coroner's office collected the skull and eight other pots that may also contain skulls. Katz says there's no evidence of a homicide and that it appears the skull may have been purchased from a legal source and was being used for a religious ceremony. He says it's unclear whether animal remains were found.

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Compton resident Angie Garcia, 28, says she used to attend Santeria religious ceremonies at the "Omi Relekun" shop, where people dressed in white claimed to speak with the dead and drive out people's negative energies, the Los Angeles Times reports. She says the rituals sometimes included sacrificing a live goat, bird, or chicken. "How scary," Garcia says of the skull find. "I have kids around here. I know they worked with animals but not human skulls." (Read more skull stories.)

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