Friday, February 10, 2006

Wonder If She Stored It In The Overhead Compartment

Human skull found at Lauderdale airport was to be used in Voodoo rite

sun-sentinel.com staff & wires
Posted February 10 2006, 3:20 PM EST

FORT LAUDERDALE -- A woman was charged with smuggling after federal security screeners found a human skull in her luggage at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport late Thursday.

The woman had flown into Fort Lauderdale on Lynx Air International Flight 210 from Cap Haitien, Haiti. Her bag was being searched at the U.S. Customs counter when the grisly discovery was made. Agents said she did not disclose the skull -- complete with teeth and hair -- was in the luggage.
Myrlene Severe, a Haitian-born permanent U.S. resident, said the skull -- a male's -- was to be used in rites as part of her Voodoo beliefs. She also said she bought the skull from an unknown man in Haiti in the belief the head would ward off evil spirits.

The 30-year-old Severe was charged Friday afternoon with smuggling "a human head with organic matter inside," according to a criminal complaint.

``It still had teeth, hair and bits of skin and lots of dirt,'' said Barbara Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Miami.

In addition to the smuggling count, she was charged with failure to declare the head and transporting hazardous material in air commerce.

She faces a maximum of 15 years in prison if convicted on all charges, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida.

Severe remained held Friday on a $100,000 bond. She is due back in federal court March 2.

The discovery alarmed some passengers, and some came up with their own conclusions about the object.

"Religious beliefs, freedom -- people get strange things in their heads. So, people bring in what they want," passenger Ben Knowlton told news partner NBC 6.

Yes, he said "people get strange things in their heads."

9 comments:

Kentucky Girl said...

Sweet! I want a human skull!

John Cowart said...

Obviously, she was from out of town or she would not have tried to bring this into Florida.

Had she been local, she would have known that she buy one on just about any street corner in Miami.

See, it pays to know the local customs when you travel.

Dramedy Girl said...

A skull with teeth and hair. Ugh, that's disgusting!

Deb said...

Eeewww!

jen said...

and conversely, people get strange heads in their things?

Eric said...

Jen - Ha! You win.

Eric said...

John - funny thing, I like all things skeletal and there was a time where I would even have requested you search out a human skull for me on such a Miami street corner.

Yet, as I have matured (well, slightly at least) I find that I have this aversion to grave robbery. Although if anyone happens to see a really nice replica skull, drop me a line!

Eric said...

KF: That is funny! And I'm slightly ashamed that I totally missed it.

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