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Hospital to display 'mystery skeleton'

March 21, 2013 at 3:25 PM

OTTUMWA, Iowa, March 21 (UPI) -- A skeleton stored away for decades in a closet at an Iowa hospital set to be demolished will be sent to the University of Iowa Medical Museum, officials said.

Suzie Wood, executive director of development at Ottumwa (Iowa) Regional Health Center, said crews discovered the skeleton in a basement closet while cleaning out the 88-year-old facility last year in preparation for its upcoming demolition. The skeleton -- dubbed "Mr. Bones" -- is believed to have been stored there for 70 to 80 years, the Ottumwa Courier reported Thursday.

"He has all his teeth, his toes, his fingers and his vertebrae -- even his cartilage is still attached," Wood said.

"I contacted the Sisters (of Humility), who have their archives of information on the hospital in Davenport," Wood said. "They have archives and archives of photos and testimonials, but they have no record of him at all."

Wood said Mr. Bones is believed to have been donated to the hospital as a teaching tool in 1937 or 1938. She said not much else is known about the skeleton.

Mr. Bones will be on display at the Ottumwa Regional Health Center before it is shipped off to the University of Iowa Medical Museum in April.

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