SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J. – An exotic dancer who decorated her home with skulls and a severed hand has been arrested and charged with improper disposition of human remains, authorities said.
Police responding to a report Friday of a suicidal person at the home of 31-year-old Linda Kay discovered a large, crudely severed human hand in a mason jar of formaldehyde on the dresser of Kay's basement bedroom, according to the police report.
While the subject of the initial phone call was not located in the home, authorities found six skulls in an upstairs room. The Middlesex County medical examiner has determined all are human.
While human skulls may be purchased online, the origin of the hand is more troubling. The police report states it was severed roughly, not surgically, with bone fragments in the jar.
Kay was arrested and charged Friday afternoon in South Plainfield Municipal Court, where she faces arraignment at 9 a.m. Wednesday. As of early Tuesday, no lawyer had filed papers on her behalf, a court administrator said.
Kay could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Two people who knew Kay, including one who stayed at her house for about two months earlier this year, told The Star-Ledger of Newark for that the hand, which Kay nicknamed "Freddy," was a gift from a medical student who frequented the Union strip club where she dances. At the all-nude juice bar called Hott 22, Kay nurtured her Gothic persona, wearing dark costumes, heavy eyeliner, piercings and tattoos.
Kay's mother told the newspaper that her daughter had always been fascinated with the macabre. As a girl she found and collected animal skulls and snake skeletons. Patricia Ann Kay said her daughter purchased the human skulls from a mail order catalog.
"She has a flair for the dramatic," her mother told the newspaper for Tuesday's editions. "I have never tried to stop my children from doing whatever they want. As long as they are happy, aren't hurting anyone, and it's keeping them out of the poor house."
A South Plainfield Judge released Kay from custody Friday on $100,000 bail.