BROOK PARK, Ohio (AP) -- Human skulls encased in ceramic have been found among clay pots, baseballs and other items purchased at auction by an Ohio discount store chain. The trail of the 12 skulls has led to Florida and Peru. A warehouse employee of the Marc's chain found them while looking through a box purchased at auction January 15 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A figurine fell and broke, disclosing a skull enshrouded in ceramic. The box was among items that had been abandoned at a customs inspection point. It was shipped by air last May from Lima, Peru, to someone in Miami, apparently meant as a gift, according to Cherise Miles, a spokeswoman for the customs agency. The name of the intended recipient was being withheld pending the investigation. As for the sender, "We don't know if the person actually knew there were skulls," Miles said. That was under investigation, along with other unanswered questions about the origin of the skulls. None had any sign of violence or injuries, according to assistant Cuyahoga County Coroner Heather Raaf, and some may have been buried at some point. At the time of the January 30 discovery, the ceramic items were at least one week away from making the shelves at Marc's, a northeast Ohio chain of discount stores where closeouts and low prices are favored over shopper comforts. Marc's regularly stocks items purchased at auction, including those attended by owner Marc Glassman, said Debbie List, administrative assistant at the chain. "He attends auctions all the time, everywhere," she said. Finding a ceramic item shaped like a head might not prompt a second glance at Marc's, where you can find men's underwear at the end of the frozen foods, flea collars hanging next to California wines and a chest-high display of unwrapped dog chews. Over in the corner, tropical birds squawk from a room-sized cage. Police in Brook Park, a working-class Cleveland suburb, released photos of one of the ceramic-encased skulls. It resembled a head with a biker's tightly fitting helmet and wide purple bands down the sides of the face, lips pursed closed. The skulls include at least one of a child and showed evidence of bindings, according to Raaf. The dried-out look indicated the skulls were aged, possibly for many years. Investigators wouldn't say whether they were looking into possession of the skulls as a crime. The coroner asked an anthropologist, Bruce Latimer of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, to inspect the skulls. He was directed by authorities to withhold public comment, museum spokeswoman Gail Takacs said Friday. The Peruvian embassy in Washington, D.C., didn't respond to a request for comment on the discovery.

BROOK PARK, Ohio (AP) -- Human skulls encased in ceramic have been found among clay pots, baseballs and other items purchased at auction by an Ohio discount store chain. The trail of the 12 skulls has led to Florida and Peru. A warehouse employee of the Marc's chain found them while looking through a box purchased at auction January 15 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A figurine fell and broke, disclosing a skull enshrouded in ceramic. The box was among items that had been abandoned at a customs inspection point. It was shipped by air last May from Lima, Peru, to someone in Miami, apparently meant as a gift, according to Cherise Miles, a spokeswoman for the customs agency. The name of the intended recipient was being withheld pending the investigation. As for the sender, "We don't know if the person actually knew there were skulls," Miles said. That was under investigation, along with other unanswered questions about the origin of the skulls. None had any sign of violence or injuries, according to assistant Cuyahoga County Coroner Heather Raaf, and some may have been buried at some point. At the time of the January 30 discovery, the ceramic items were at least one week away from making the shelves at Marc's, a northeast Ohio chain of discount stores where closeouts and low prices are favored over shopper comforts. Marc's regularly stocks items purchased at auction, including those attended by owner Marc Glassman, said Debbie List, administrative assistant at the chain. "He attends auctions all the time, everywhere," she said. Finding a ceramic item shaped like a head might not prompt a second glance at Marc's, where you can find men's underwear at the end of the frozen foods, flea collars hanging next to California wines and a chest-high display of unwrapped dog chews. Over in the corner, tropical birds squawk from a room-sized cage. Police in Brook Park, a working-class Cleveland suburb, released photos of one of the ceramic-encased skulls. It resembled a head with a biker's tightly fitting helmet and wide purple bands down the sides of the face, lips pursed closed. The skulls include at least one of a child and showed evidence of bindings, according to Raaf. The dried-out look indicated the skulls were aged, possibly for many years. Investigators wouldn't say whether they were looking into possession of the skulls as a crime. The coroner asked an anthropologist, Bruce Latimer of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, to inspect the skulls. He was directed by authorities to withhold public comment, museum spokeswoman Gail Takacs said Friday. The Peruvian embassy in Washington, D.C., didn't respond to a request for comment on the discovery.

Where is the mutation that once told me it was safe? I can't find him.

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