Family loses custody of mummy baby

Filed under: Divorce & Custody, Work Life, Activities: Babies, Media, Gadgets, That's Entertainment

People who work with children are used to hearing all sorts of crazy things, but when a little girl mentioned at daycare that her uncle kept a dead baby at his house, it drew the attention of law enforcement.

What turned up in the New Hampshire home of Charles Peavey was a bizarre and macabre family heirloom: the mummified remains of a stillborn infant displayed on a bureau.

According to Peavey, the 90 year old remains (referred to as "Baby John") is believed to be the stillborn child of a great-great uncle and have been passed down for generations. Baby John was treated as a family member and given cards on holidays and even a dried fish for a pet.

Police seized the mummy and tests confirmed the infant died of natural causes shortly after birth. However, once in the state's possession, the remains could not be released to anyone but family members. A local news station reported that Peavey sold the family silver to raise the $1,000 for DNA testing, but came up short and reluctantly gave up the fight for Baby John.

"It's (Baby John) one of the few things from our family past that we have left,'' Peavey had written in a petition to the court. "And when I pass on, I was looking forward to passing it on to another family member, to keep some of the history for future family members.''

Baby John will be buried in a local cemetery.

Note to the uncles of the world: it is easier to keep the history of ancestors alive by passing down the family silver, than it is the actual, dead ancestor.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.