Iowa man selling coffin gets questions about bones


June 22nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) ā€” An online classified ad offering an oak coffin neglected to mention the full skeleton inside that Iowa authorities seized to try and identify. The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reports the coffin belonged to the now defunct Council Bluffs chapter of the International Order of Odd Fellows.

Dave Burgstrum says he placed the ad to sell the coffin for $12,000 because he’s trying to raise money to pay the property taxes on the fraternal organizations hall. Burgstrum says the coffin that was made in the 1900s was used in the group’s rituals to represent death, and the bones had been inside for years.

Council Bluffs Police detective Michael Roberts says human remains can’t be sold with proper identification. So the skeleton was sent to the Iowa State Medical Examiner.