Police serving a search warrant in a drug investigation said they found something more ghastly in a backyard shed: Two human skulls in a shrine, and several hundred pounds of animal bones, flesh, and blood believed to be part of a religious ceremony.
Roberto Casillas-Corrales, 53, of Clearfield, remained jailed Monday, a day after he was arrested for investigation of abuse or desecration of a human body. Authorities say he may also face several charges of cruelty to animals.
"We believe it's a religious ritual at this time," said Mike Stenquist, assistant police chief in Clearfield, about 20 miles north of Salt Lake City. "He's been performing some type of ceremonies in his backyard shed, and that would include the sacrificing of animals, lambs, sheep, goats, rams and chickens."
The human skulls have been sent to the medical examiner for analysis, and the investigation is ongoing, Stenquist said.
Casillas-Corrales told authorities the skulls had been removed from grave sites in Cuba, and that he had purchased them for use in religious ceremonies.
A message left at his home Monday wasn't immediately returned, and it wasn't immediately clear whether he had an attorney.
Clearfield police had gone to Casillas-Corrales' home Sunday afternoon to assist a Weber County narcotics task force in an investigation into drug distribution. A search didn't turn up any drugs, only the human and animal remains.
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents also are investigating because Casillas-Corrales isn't a U.S. citizen.