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'This is an extremely rare situation': Box of human heads stolen from Denver truck

The box was on its way back to Science Care, a company that facilitates tissue donations to medical researchers and educators.

DENVER — The Denver Police Department (DPD) is asking for the public's help finding the person responsible for the theft of a box of human heads.

Police said they received a report Thursday of the theft of a dolly and a box from a freight company's truck that was parked in the 7700-block of East 23rd Avenue in the Central Park neighborhood. 

DPD said it happened between about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday and 9:30 a.m. Thursday. 

The box is blue and white with a label that says "Exempt Human Specimen" and contained human heads used for medical research, according to police.

The box belonged to Science Care, a company that facilitates tissue donations to medical researchers and educators, the company's CEO confirmed to 9NEWS. 

"Recently, an incident occurred in the Denver area where a sealed box containing donated tissues was stolen from a secured truck operated by a third-party specializing in the logistics of donated tissues," CEO Tricia Hammett said in a written statement. "The secured truck was in the process of returning the tissue to Science Care after a medical training event. Unknown individuals illegally broke into the truck and robbed it of the Science Care box."

Hammett said Science Care was immediately notified about the theft. 

"This is an extremely rare situation, and we appreciate the attention the media has brought to the community to help assist us in locating the stolen box," Hammett wrote.

The missing cardboard box is white with a blue “Science Care” logo and is approximately 20 x 15 x 18 inches, Hammett said.

No arrests have been made, according to DPD, and investigators are working to gather information to identify suspects and recover the stolen items.

9NEWS legal analyst Scott Robinson said whoever stole the box of human heads intended for medical research could face some unexpected charges on top of theft.

“There’s an argument that could be made that if these heads are simply disposed of, thrown in the trash, that’s abuse of a corpse," Robinson said. "That’s a felony in Colorado, and in theory, an individual could get up to three years for such a crime.”

If you find the box discarded or abandoned, you're asked to call DPD at 720-913-2000, police said.

Anyone with information that could help in the investigation is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867 or visit metrodenvercrimestoppers.com. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000. 

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