Authorities were investigating the discovery Wednesday of what they believed to be potential fetal remains at a Cahokia middle school.
A janitor found an “item” in a toilet in a girls bathroom at Wirth-Parks Middle School, and authorities were called in to investigate, said Capt. Bruce Fleshren with the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department.
“We still need to determine what this item is that was found,” Fleshren said. “It’s not yet determined if this was human material.”
How the investigation proceeds depends on the identification of what was found in the toilet, Fleshren said. The St. Clair County Coroner’s Office was also on scene Wednesday night, and the discovery was to be examined by the coroner either Wednesday night or Thursday morning.
“If they are human, then obviously we may have a young girl who’s scared and needs medical treatment, and we’re certainly going to make every effort to find her,” he said. “But at this point, we don’t believe that’s needed.”
If the item is a fetus, it was in very early stages of development, Fleshren said.
Authorities were called to the school at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, and they remained at the school as of 9:15 p.m.
Art Ryan, superintendent of Cahokia Community Unit School District 187, was also at the school but did not comment.
Although such findings are unusual, Fleshren said, it wouldn’t be the first time people discovered what they thought were human remains, only to have them turn out to be something else.
Fleshren said he expected to know more information sometime Thursday morning.