Medtronic Inc. (NYSE:MDT) is losing its head. Er, heads.
A Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) employee discovered 45 human heads June 9 in a three-box shipment at Little Rock National Airport, headed for Medtronic’s Fort Worth, Texas, while inspecting aircraft cargo and called police. The heads were in three containers sealed with duct tape and placed inside a red bag marked "Bio Hazard," according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
More than a week later, Pulaski County, Ark. coroner Garland Camper is still holding the noggins, saying he wants to make sure the shipment isn’t part of a black-market operation.
The embalmed cranial specimens were shipped to Medtronic by research and education service company JLS Consulting Group. It’s not uncommon for cadavers to be shipped for physician education and medical device development, Medtronic spokesman Brian Henry told the nespaper. The heads were to be used to train neurosurgeons on ear, nose and throat procedures.
Camper is keeping the heads while he conducts his investigation, working with state and federal agencies examining their origins.