Wednesday, May 05, 2010
The mummified body of a baby, kept as a family heirloom for nearly a century, is missing.
Charles Peavey of Concord, NH, present owner of the small mummy, said it was possibly the newborn son of a great-great-uncle which has been in his family for over 90 years. Police learned of it in 2006 after Peavey's 4-year-old niece mentioned it at her day care center. Authorities collected the 18-inch mummy for testing, and Peavey went to probate court to get custody of it. The tests concluded that the baby died of natural causes shortly after his birth decades ago but failed to prove he was related to Peavey. A judge ordered the remains buried, and it was placed in an unmarked grave in the children's section of a local cemetery where stuffed animals and other toys decorate the grave sites.
This week, it was discovered that the grave had been exhumed and the corpse of "Baby John" removed from his casket, which was reburied. Disturbance of a grave and abuse of a corpse are felonies. Peavey denies any knowledge of what happened and has not been charged with a crime.
Relatives had treated the mummified infant as a family member, giving it cards on holidays and a dried fish as a pet.