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Foetus skeletons found in basement

The skeletons of two human foetuses have been found wrapped in 1930s newspaper in a trunk in the basement of a Los Angeles building.

They are thought to have been inside doctor's bags at the Glen-Donald building for more than 75 years.

The discovery was made by building manager Gloria Gomez and tenant Yiming Xing as they cleaned out the basement.

The Glen-Donald building was home to doctors, lawyers, writers and actors when it opened in 1925 and the basement had once been a ballroom.

The trunk was inscribed with the initials JMB and also contained a certificate giving "Miss Jean Barrie" membership in the Peter Pan Woodland Club mountain resort, which burned down in 1948; a typing manual bearing the signature "Jean M. Barrie;" ticket stubs from the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games; wedding photos and other items.

The women called 911 after discovering the first mummy-wrapped skeleton. Coroner's officials began investigating, leaving residents to speculate about the trunk's owner, the possibility of secret abortions in an era before the procedure was legal and an odd fact: Peter Pan was created by Scottish author James M. Barrie, who died in 1937.

"We're trying to piece all of the parts of the puzzle together," said coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter. He described the remains as foetuses and said they were wrapped in newspapers dated 1933 and 1935.

Mr Xing said those remains "looked exactly like a baby" with a head and hair "and looked very developed."

Police were awaiting results from the coroner's office.

"We'll try to reconstruct the circumstances based on what the coroner tells us, based on the history of the residence and based on science," Chief Charlie Beck told the Los Angeles Times.

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