Police thought human skull brought to Oakland station was a Halloween prank. They were wrong


What authorities initially thought was a gruesome prank just in time for Halloween has turned into a homicide investigation in Oakland after someone delivered a decayed human skull to the Police Department last week.

The person who discovered the decomposing skull in the backyard of a home on 29th Street brought it to an Oakland Police Department station early Friday, said Officer Johnna Watson.

The strange delivery prompted homicide detectives to launch an investigation into what authorities are calling a suspicious death, Watson said.


The Alameda County Coroner’s Bureau is attempting to identify the remains and determine how the person died. Police are combing through missing persons reports while trying to locate the rest of the body.

“It was decomposed and had a little bit of flesh on it,” Sgt. Michael Cardoza told KGO-TV. “I can say in my years of service I’ve never had a human skull delivered to the police station.”

It’s the latest in a series of recent macabre discoveries for police in the Bay Area.

A badly decomposed body without a head was discovered in Oakland in September, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. And in August, police in San Francisco found the headless body of 65-year-old Brian Egg stuffed in a fish tank inside his home.

Authorities have not linked the skull to the other cases.

Police are asking anyone with information to contact homicide detectives at (510) 238-3821.

Twitter: @Hannahnfry