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Thursday, 26 July, 2007

Mummified baby baffles Toronto coroner

in the attic of a Toronto home has Ontario's deputy chief coroner Jim Cairns immersing himself in local history. The baby was found wrapped in a copy of the Globe dated September 15, 1925 by a contractor working on the house. A search of property records from that time links ownership of the house to a certain Llewellyn and Della Emily Russell. The Globe and Mail reports that Mrs Russell was in a psychiatric hospital when the house was sold in the forties.

Mummified baby remains are certainly rare, but surprisingly they're not unheard of. "This is the third one I've seen since 1979," Dr Cairns told the Globe. (The last incident was the strange case of , whose baby's mummified remains were found in a locker after Ms Patterson died of cancer -- in 2001.) Dr Cairns went on to explain that bacteria hasn't had time to accumulate in their bowel of babies who die very soon after birth, which reduces the likelihood the body will decompose.

An autopsy is being performed today by forensic pathologist Toby Rose to try to determine the mysterious infant's cause of death.

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  1. Wow. I remember when I heard about this, I was really amazed. I had some first-hand experience in the 2001 storage locker case, and it was my understanding that these cases were quite rare.

    A lot more press on this circumstance, however.

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