facebook app symbol  twitter  linkedin  instagram 1

Michelle Calhoun was shopping in a thrift store in North Fort Myers, Florida and noticed a human skull in the Halloween section on Saturday, November 4, 2023.

Calhoun, a anthropologist with Archaeological Consultants, based in Sarasota, Fla. said she identified the skull as being of a Native American. 

At approximately 11:25 am, the Lee County Sheriff Office received a call about the discovery at the Paradise Vintage Market located in the Antique Mall. The caller who made the call stated the skull was of a Native American, according to the Lee County Sheriff Office police report obtained by Native New Online.

The officer who responded made contact with the store owner and manager Beth Meyer, who told the officer the skull was placed out for Halloween and was selling for $400. The officer called in the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit detectives to further investigate. 

Meyer told the officer the skull was located in a storage locker at I Storage in Fort Myers, Florida. She said she purchased the skull years prior.

The sheriff office called the medical examiner to remove the skull from the thrift shop. Preliminary examination shows the skull is about 75 years old and there does not appear to be any trauma to the bones. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office will work in conjunction with the District 21 Medical Examiner’s Office to facilitate further testing of the skull.

According to the Lee County Sheriff Office, the case is not suspicious in nature.

If the skull is ascertained to be of a Native American, by law it should be repartriated to a local tribe.

More Stories Like This

Federal Government Overhauls NAGPRA to Expedite Return of Native Ancestral Remains
Tribes in Maine Spent Decades Fighting to Rebury Ancestral Remains. Harvard Resisted Them at Nearly Every Turn.
3 Million Acres Returned to Tribal Trust Ownership During Decade Long Program
Seneca Nation & New York State Agree to Short-Term Compact Gaming Extension, as Negotiations Continue
$1.58M Grant Will Reconnect Otoe-Missouria to Ancestral Lands

Together, we can educate, enlighten, and empower.

November is celebrated as “Native American Heritage Month.” At Native News Online, we amplify Native voices and share our relatives’ unique perspectives every day of the year. We believe every month should celebrate Native American heritage. 
If you appreciate our commitment to Native voices and our mission to tell stories that connect us to our roots and inspire understanding and respect, we hope you will consider making a donation this month to support our work. For those who commit to a recurring donation of $12 per month or more, or make a one-time donation of $150 or greater, we're excited to offer you a copy of our upcoming Indian Boarding School publication and access to our quarterly Founder’s Circle meetings and newsletter.  
About The Author
Levi Rickert
Author: Levi RickertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Levi "Calm Before the Storm" Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. Rickert was awarded Best Column 2021 Native Media Award for the print/online category by the Native American Journalists Association. He serves on the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He can be reached at [email protected].