Police have appealed to the public for help in finding the thieves.
St. Leonard's Church in Kent is reeling from the discovery that thieves stole 21 skulls from the Hythe, Britain located church. The skulls date back to Britons who lived 700 years ago. Revered Andrew Sweeney, in his statement to Kent Police, expressed his shock at such turn of events. He described the thievery as "unsettling." According to Kent Police, the thieves took the skulls anytime between four in the afternoon on July 15 to 10:40 in the morning on July 16. They did the crime by breaking open the lock affixed to the church doors. The police initiated a witness appeal on July 18.
According to VisitKent, the local tourist authority, St. Leonard's Church houses the best collection of preserved ancient human skulls and bones in the United Kingdom. The ossuary located within St. Leonard is home to partial remains of any number of persons from 2,000 to 4,000 people. The ossuary shelves are lined with 1,000 skulls. Other than skulls, the place houses a large collection of skulls and bones. The display is 25 feet in length and six feet in width. The height goes up to six feet. An investigation carried into the remains found out the oldest is 900 years old and the most recent is 600 years old.
According to Inspector Maxine Harris, it is an “unusual” crime. The police reminded everyone that the displayed skulls could not be taken as and when one pleases. Police urged the public to notify them if they have remembered any kind of suspicious activity during the mentioned time in the vicinity of the church. If anyone has seen or heard something, that person was urged by the police to come forward. Harris also told the public to notify the police if the skulls were put up for sale in any auction house or some similar.
The recent years saw many scientists analyzing the bones stored within St. Leonard's Church to learn about the individuals they belonged to. Experts took advantage of the latest advances in measurement methods and forensic analysis to uncover new insights into the remains enclosed within the church. It is found the bones are a mix of different generations. It is surmised that the remains were buried within the church ground in the past and then dug up anytime in the 13th century. There is considerable debate as to why the remains were exhumed.