The fetuses, believed to have been stillborn in the 1920s, were sold to a buyer over Facebook, KUSA-TV reported.
Emily Suzanne Cain, 38, allegedly shipped the package from Canon City, Colorado, on Oct. 15, 2018, but Customs and Border Protection officers in San Francisco flagged it before it could be loaded onto a London-bound flight.
Cain allegedly tried to disguise the contents by labeling them “school teaching aids and T-shirts” on a customs form certifying there are no dangerous items in the package, KXTV-TV reported.
But she didn’t sign the form, so CBP officers X-rayed the bundle and were horrified to see “human shapes.”
Cain, who had also hand-written an apology for the package’s delay, was outraged when she discovered it had not been delivered and called USPS customer service on Oct. 30 and Nov. 2, to inquire about the delivery.
San Mateo County Coroner’s Office identified the remains as human, while Homeland Security investigators obtained a warrant for her Facebook communications, KDVR reported.
Facebook posts indicate Cain bought the “wet specimens” from a friend who heads a university’s BioMed department “and recently picked them up in a U-Haul trailer,” KUSA-TV reported.
She had allegedly been trying to sell the fetal collection for $20,000.
Investigators traced the fetuses’ origins to Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska — which confirmed they had belonged to the lab, reports said.
Cain was charged with violating a US law that prohibits the sale of human fetal tissue. She was released on a $5,000 bond with a GPS monitor and pleaded not guilty Tuesday.