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.
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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.