Police: Santeria priest planned to use stolen skeletal remains for religious reasons

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HARTFORD, Conn. – Authorities in Connecticut are investigating a bizarre crime that spanned several states.

On Oct. 9, officers in Worcester, Massachusetts were called to a cemetery after the chain on a wrought iron gate was broken and several graves were disturbed.

An investigation revealed that five skeletal remains, belonging to three adults and two children, were missing.

Weeks went by and the remains were never found.

On Friday, police in Hartford, Connecticut were called to an apartment that held skeletons.

When officers arrived, they were met by the tenant, 32-year-old Amador Medina, who showed them where the bodies were stored.

Investigators say Medina is a self-proclaimed “Santeria” priest and planned to use the bodies for religious reasons.

“We see [Santeria] rarely in Hartford,” Brian Foley, the deputy chief of the Hartford Police Department, told WTNH. “When we do, it’s generally animals. Very even more rarely you get human remains involved and we have seen it here in Hartford.”

Foley claims some practitioners of Santeria use human bones for medicinal purposes, and the age of the deceased and how long they have been dead are relevant to those practices, according to ABC News.

Medina was arrested on five counts of disinterment of bodies, conspiracy to commit a crime and accessory before the fact.

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