Florida Contractor Find Jars Of Tongues Hidden Inside Crawl Space

Museum shelves with specimens preserved wet in glass jars of formalin

A contractor working on a home in Gainesville, Florida, uncovered six gallon-sized plastic jars containing human tongues hidden inside of a crawl space. The home belongs to Mary Baughman, who has been living there since divorcing her husband, world-renowned pathologist and former University of Florida professor Dr. Ronald A. Baughman, in 1992.

When police arrived at the scene, Mary explained that the tongues were from a research project her husband was working on. Ronald confirmed that he brought the jars home, telling WCJB that he stored them in the crawl space because it was the coolest area in the house. They both said they had forgotten about the tongues, some of which dated back to the 1960s.

Authorities said they do not believe the Baughmans were involved in any type of criminal activity but are still investigating the matter. They did not say how many tongues were found inside the house.

Steve Orlando, a spokesman for the University of Florida, told the news station that while it may have been acceptable to bring research specimens home in the 1960s and 1970s, it is not allowed under current laws.

"I don't know what the policies and laws would have been like 50 years ago or whenever it was, but I can tell you that today that's not something that would be permitted. There are very strict federal and state laws as well as university policies that prohibit that. It would be neither appropriate or legal for a faculty member or researcher to bring something like that home."

Photo: Getty Images

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