Idaho police close investigation into mummified hand

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 27, 2011 7:09 PM

SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - Police in Idaho Falls said on Tuesday they have closed an investigation into the origins of a mummified hand after learning it dates back 700 to 1,000 years.

The dismembered limb was handed over to the Museum of Idaho in Idaho Falls more than a year ago by a patron who told officials it had been in the family for years and was likely that of a Native American.

Officials at the museum presented it to police in March.

Unable to link the limb to criminal activity, Idaho Falls officers submitted it to antiquities experts with the Utah Division of State History, Idaho Falls police spokeswoman Joelyn Hansen said.

A finding by a physical anthropologist showed the hand spanned between the 11th and 14th centuries, Hansen said.

"It's out of the reach of our jurisdiction," she said.

The limb will likely be offered to the Indian tribes of Utah now that police have a grip on its origins.

"We're leaving it in someone else's hands," Hansen said.

(Reporting by Laura Zuckerman, editing by Dan Whitcomb and Greg McCune)