Police Say 54 Severed Human Hands Found In Russia 'Not Crime Related'
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Police have said a bag containing 54 severed human hands, which was found dumped by a river in Russia, is not crime-related.
Cops from the city of Khabarovsk have said the hands were from unidentified bodies which had been stored at a forensic laboratory, the Daily Mail reports.
According to investigators, the hands were removed from the unknown bodies to keep in case fingerprints were ever needed in future to help identify the bodies. However, police also added that the bag, which was found on a small island in the middle of a river, said it had been disposed of in an 'inappropriate way'.
Officers are now reported to be 'carrying out checks and studying all the circumstances of this event' a spokesperson from the Russian Investigation Committee told the Siberian Times..
They continued: "According to the results of these checks, a legal judgment will be made on the activities of the forensic experts of Khabarovsk city, who are in charge of utilising the above mentioned items."
Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the bizarre nature of the find, some people have already taken to social media to claim there is some sort of cover up happening. One man wrote that it was 'too early to say there is no criminal intent here'.
A second asked why it was necessary to remove and preserve the entire hands when they could have just taken fingerprints and entered them into a database. Others were outraged that authorities were treating the remains of citizens in such a way.
The initial discovery sparked fears there could have been a serial killer on the loose - or that the finding was somehow related to organised crime gangs who wanted to remove the hands so victims could not be identified by their fingerprints. Another theory suggested the hands were removed as a 'punishment' for theft.
Local media reported at the time, bandages and shoe covers used in hospitals were also found near to the body, prompting some to believe that the grisly find could have been related to the black-market sale of body parts.