BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — Among the contents of a storage unit sold at auction in Mobile, including the cremated remains of 13 people. As Rebekah McManus unpacked the contents of one storage unit into another in Robertsdale, she found something else.
“There was a jar in there and initially I thought it was a heart and when I looked at it, it was not a heart and I freaked out,” said McManus.
What McManus found packed away was a fetus. Its tiny body curled up with a full head of hair, a clip on the umbilical cord.
“He wasn’t full term,” said McManus. “He fits in the palm of your hand.”
McManus contacted Robertsdale Police on Thursday and police have now begun an investigation and taken custody of the fetus.
“This is not how any death is to be handled or any loved ones to be handled to end up in a storage unit,” Robertsdale Police Lt. Paul Overstreet said.
How the fetus ended up in a storage unit, once owned by a now-defunct funeral home, is anyone’s guess.
“While it may or may not be a criminal matter, we are good at finding answers and that is what we plan to do,” Overtstreet said.
For the last few weeks, McManus has been searching for and reuniting families with the cremains also stored in that storage unit. That happened again Thursday for the grandson of Jimmie Herrin who died in 2019. His ashes are among the 13 in the storage unit.
His grandson Bryce said the family tried many times to get his grandfather’s ashes and was given “the run around” by the funeral home.
“It kind of makes me want to cry ’cause I haven’t seen him in so long you know,” said Bryce Herrin as he was handed a blue bag three years later with his grandfather’s ashes inside.
But, it’s the fetus, inside a container the size of a pickle jar, that’s the hardest for McManus.
“I don’t want him to sit on a shelf anymore, or in an unmarked grave,” said McManus. “I don’t want that for him anymore.”