Sickening mystery of fisherman who found barrels filled with 248 human foetuses

A sickening discovery by a fisherman in isolated woodland led to a huge investigation in Russia, the mystery of which has lasted for a decade.

The fisherman had gone fishing and wanted to get some wood for his fire when he stumbled across four water containers which he wanted to take home.

When he looked inside he was horrified to see little babies preserved in formaldehyde. In total 278 baby fetuses were discovered inside the dumped barrels.

The fisherman alerted the authorities and officials said the remains were "biomedical waste" from at least three hospitals in the Urals region, where they were discovered.

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According to police, they were preserved with formaldehyde in four plastic barrels with tags listing surnames and numbers.

The discovery was made in woodland about 70km (45 miles) north of the city of Yekaterinburg, on July 24, 2012.

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At the time police said some of the lids on the barrels had come off and the contents were scattered on the floor of the forest.

The health authorities said responsibility lies with the organisation charged with the disposal of medical waste from the city's hospitals, reported the BBC.

At the time Vladimir Vlasov, deputy head of the regional government spoke on state TV and said: "It seems the company responsible for disposal of the biomedical waste did not carry out its duties."

The remains were placed in a morgue in the nearby town of Nevyansk for further examination.

Mr Vlasov described the case as "extraordinary" but said he believed investigators would quickly establish who had been responsible for the disposal of the fetuses and those guilty would be punished.

Photographs from the site showed fetuses with tags scrawled with numbers and inscriptions that Russian media said were family names.

At the time local resident Sergei Tveritinov told state television: “A friend called at night and said he went fishing and wanted to get some wood for his fire.

"He ran into some water canisters and wanted to take them home, but when he came closer he saw little baby bodies."

According to Russian news agency RT, a waste disposal company and a medical academy based out of the city of Ekaterinburg may have been tied to the fetus dumping case.

But ten years on the shocking incident remains a mystery and it is not known whether any charges were brought against those responsible.

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