Heart Found in Ziploc Bag Likely Human, Coroner Says

The Huron County Coroner says pathologists are testing an intact heart found in a field in Norwalk, Ohio, to confirm whether or not it's human.

Published Sept. 14, 2016

 (Norwalk Police Dept.)
Image Via Norwalk Police Dept.

A heart found in a sealed Ziploc bag near a gas station in Norwalk, Ohio, appears to be human, the Huron County Coroner says. The Associated Press reported that the body part has been sent to a pathology lab for testing to confirm that it's human, and whether the residual liquid in the bag is a preservative. The coroner, Dr. Jeff Harwood, said the organ appears to be a "preserved specimen" with "anomalies." Its origin is unknown.

According to a police report, the heart was discovered by EMS personnel in a grassy field abutting the Friendship Food Mart on 25 August 2016. Police detective Jim Fulton provided these details to the Norwalk Reflector:

Paramedics made the discovery, having returned to Friendship from a call. The crew had parked an ambulance there for the purpose of coverage.

Fulton has said the heart wasn’t there when North Central first was at the convenience store, but was in the field upon their return. The detective estimated the crew was gone about an hour, possibly less.

“They called their dispatch first,” Fulton said. “And they were told to call the police department.”

Though Light described the organ as "fresh, [not] decomposed," Harwood said it had "an odor of decomposition" when he examined it. Police photos show an intact, though slightly shriveled, body part:


County and state law enforcement agencies have said they're unaware of any reports of grave robberies in the area or unsolved criminal cases involving removal of a heart. Chief Light told the Reflector he decided to publicize the find in hopes of generating leads.


Ashby, Cary.  "Authorities Searching for Clues After Heart Is Found in Bag."    Norwalk Reflector.  8 September 2016.

Zook, Anna.  "Coroner: Heart Found Next to Gas Station Likely Human."    Associated Press.  14 September 2016.

David Emery is a West Coast-based writer and editor with 25 years of experience fact-checking rumors, hoaxes, and contemporary legends.

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