Monday, December 18, 2017

Police investigate discovery of discarded fetuses in Sverdlovsk

Authorities in the Sverdlovsk region are investigating the origins of four barrels containing 248 human fetuses found in a forest in the Urals.

Residents of the village of Anik found the barrels late Sunday, according to police who said that it was a "discovery worthy of a horror movie," the Moscow Times reports.

An original report on Monday said that 50 human embryos had been discovered five kilometers from a highway linking Yekaterinburg with Nizhny Tagil. The estimate more than quintupled by Tuesday morning after all of the fetuses were counted.

The palm-sized fetuses were preserved in formaldehyde and were accompanied by tags with surnames and numbers. Police believe the numbers represent the hospital where the women who gestated them had been patients, Sverdlovsk region police spokesman Valery Gorelykh said, the Moscow Times reports.

There are four hospitals near the site of the dumping - police believe that one or more of them could be responsible for the barrels. Police suspect that the barrels were thrown into a ravine, where their lids detached and some of the fetuses spilled out.

Yekaterinburg health officials said in a statement Tuesday that all hospitals in the city have contractors that dispose of fetuses that might be the results of miscarriages or other incidents. The regional health department added that the tags on the fetuses indicate that they could not be from abortions, according to the Moscow Times.

The Russian Church denounced that the fetuses appeared to have been treated like garbage.

"The tragic fate of those who died before birth is a sign of the degradation of our society," Moscow Patriarchate spokesman Vladimir Legoida said in a statement, according to the Moscow Times.