Clinton resident and picker John Norris poses for a photo with some of the items he found last year in a purchased storage unit. Inside the white sack are the remains of the skull. Photo by Justin Burnett

Clinton resident and picker John Norris poses for a photo with some of the items he found last year in a purchased storage unit. Inside the white sack are the remains of the skull. Photo by Justin Burnett

Storage unit skull deemed Native American

“Everywhere I go everyone asks me about the skull.”

A human skull that was found along with a jumble of stolen goods in a Whidbey Island storage unit was Native American, according to the Island County coroner.

Clinton resident John Norris said he was happy to finally get an answer to the mystery of the skull’s origin. It was a question on his mind ever since winning the bid in a storage unit auction at Waterman Self Storage on South Whidbey last fall.

Amongst the items purchased was the small, broken skull. The South Whidbey Record ran a story about the unusual find last October.

“Everywhere I go everyone asks me about the skull,” he said.

After finding it in a paper sack, Norris turned the skull over to Island County Coroner Robert Bishop, who sent it to the state’s forensic anthropologist. It was analyzed and found to be ancient Native American remains, so it was turned over to the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation for proper handling, according to Bishop.

Norris, a longtime “picker,” said he’s bid on many units over the years, but this was the first time he came across human remains.

“I found just about everything else,” he said. “You name it, it’s been in there. Things you don’t want to know.”

For this storage unit, he won with a $1,200 bid and discovered what seemed like a treasure trove of jewelry, memorabilia, guns, coins and antiques. It turned out, however, to be stolen items. Norris said the unit was used by “tweakers” who burglarized homes.

Norris speculated that the skull was taken during a burglary, but he will likely never know for sure what it was doing there.

Norris said he alerted police to the stolen goods and gave most of it — including a trumpet and antique glass decor — back to the owners.

________

This story was first published in the South Whidbey Record.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@mi-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.mi-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

[flipp]

More in Northwest

Ferguson vows to fight Trump administration’s rollbacks of nation’s environmental protections

‘Rules weaken environmental reviews on countless projects in Washington and across the nation’

Sound Transit seeks more federal funding to offset COVID-19 losses

Joins other transit agencies across nation to ask for relief package

Courtesy of governor.wa.gov
Inslee extends pause on counties advancing phases to July 28

A spike in cases could cause hospitalizations and deaths to rise soon.

Port of Seattle Commission to establish policing and civil rights task force

Group will lead a comprehensive assessment of Port of Seattle Police Department

Screenshot of Jessica Lewis and Austin Wenner’s GoFundMe reward page.
No suspects yet in West Seattle suitcase homicides

Families grieve deaths of Jessica Lewis of Federal Way and Austin Wenner of Kent.

The Red Lion Inn at 1 South Grady Way in Renton is being used as temporary site to relocate individuals experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo.
Renton battles King County over temporary shelter at Red Lion Hotel

County officials believe emergency health order will supersede city’s move.

A train route that would shuttle people between Eastern and Western Washington could tie in with the proposed ultra-high-speed rail between B.C. and Portland. Photo courtesy RobertStafford/Pixabay.com
State receives King County to Spokane rail study

It would take about eight and a half hours to reach the Inland Empire from Puget Sound.

Most Read