DENVER — A Colorado woman is accused of trying to smuggle three human fetuses to the United Kingdom.
According to an affidavit, in October 2018, Emily Suzanne Cain mailed a package containing the fetuses from Canon City to a U.K. address.
The package was shipped via the United States Postal Service to Denver and then to San Francisco.
At San Francisco International Airport, the package was located just before it would have been loaded onto a London-bound flight.
Customs and Border Protection officers noticed the CP-72 form on the package did not have a signature. The form certifies the package does not contain undeclared dangerous articles or items which are illegal to ship.
U.S. law prohibits knowingly shipping or receiving human fetal tissue in exchange for money.
The CP-72 form described the package’s contents as containing school teaching aids and a T-shirt, according to the affidavit.
CBP officers decided to X-ray the package and saw what appeared to be a human shape.
“This package was selected for physical exam due to inconsistencies between the description of the contents and the X-ray image. During the physical inspection, CBP personnel encountered three glass containers, the contents of which appeared to be three human fetuses,” the affidavit stated.
Also in the package was a handwritten note apologizing for the delay in shipment and offering a free T-shirt to the recipient.
The card was printed with the words “G. Howard McGinty Director and Curator of McGinty Fine Oddities.”
The USPS said the P.O. boxes associated with the sender — one in Canon City and another in Westminster — are registered to Glenn McGinty.
On Nov. 1, 2018, the San Mateo County, California Coroner’s Office positively identified the contents of the glass containers as human fetuses.
Fingerprints on and in the package matched Cain. One fingerprint matched McGinty.
The USPS said Cain called twice to ask why her packaged was held up in San Francisco. She said she thought “there was no customs leaving the country,” according to the affidavit.
In late November 2018, Homeland Security investigators executed a federal search warrant on the Facebook accounts of Emily Cain and Glenn McGinty/McGinty Fine Oddities.
On Dec. 19, 2018, Facebook provided investigators with an electronic copy of all communications associated with the accounts.
“Cain’s Facebook communications contain additional information that she engaged in the sale and shipping of fetal specimens,” the affidavit stated.
In one conversation with a potential customer, Cain allegedly said, “We don’t always post publicly. Especially with pieces like these…” and “… too controversial to be up everywhere, for everyone to see. I try to keep them for the special clients and others we know may have interest in them.”
In late August, messages between Cain and a customer reportedly discussed the three fetal specimens, which she bought from a friend who is the head of the biomed department at a university.
In March 2019, the Department of Medical Education at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska confirmed with Homeland Security investigators that the fetuses belonged to the university.
“The anatomy department believes that the fetuses were stillborn and had been donated to the university between 1920 and 1930,” the affidavit states.
Creighton said its policy is to cremate fetuses, not sell them.
Cain is being represented by the federal public defender’s office in Denver.
The affidavit did not provide further details on McGinty.