Police Link Skull Found in Oxnard Trash Bin to Death Shrine

Artifacts were found alongside an adult skull and jawbone

By Olsen Ebright
|  Thursday, Nov 15, 2012  |  Updated 10:00 PM PDT
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While rummaging through a trash bin for recyclables, someone in Oxnard found human remains. Oxnard police on Thursday said the remains may have been part of an altar or a death shrine. Janet Zappala reports from Oxnard for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Nov. 15, 2012.

Janet Zappala

While rummaging through a trash bin for recyclables, someone in Oxnard found human remains. Oxnard police on Thursday said the remains may have been part of an altar or a death shrine. Janet Zappala reports from Oxnard for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Nov. 15, 2012.

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Human remains found in an Oxnard trash bin Thursday probably came from an altar used to pray to an occult saint of death, police said.

Discovered in a metal trash container near the intersection of Fourth and D streets, the remains were first reported by a passerby just after 9:30 a.m.

The bones were likely used by criminals, according to Oxnard police Detective Luis McArthur.

"There were certain articles as well to indicate that this came from a shrine or some sort of an altar to Saint Death -- or Santa Muerte as it's called in Spanish -- typically associated with those that pray to Saint Death for guidance, for protection that are involved in criminal activity," McArthur said.

Police identified the remains as an adult skull and jawbone that have probably been around for "quite a while."

The Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office was scheduled to inspect the remains Thursday evening.

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