Though it's still unclear who exactly dumped a cache of 250 human fetuses that were found in a forest ravine last month, authorities have uncovered the supply chain that brought them from a Yekaterinburg hospital to the medical research facility from which they were discarded.
The fist-sized fetuses, which investigators believe were miscarried, not aborted, were delivered from Yekaterinburg Children's Hospital No. 9 to the Ural State Medical Academy for research into "possible causes of failed pregnancies," Sverdlovsk region prosecutors said Thursday in a statement.
Sources at the academy told state news agency RIA-Novosti that the fetuses, stored in a formaldehyde solution in four plastic barrels, could have been taken out by garbage collectors and simply littered.
Police are also considering a former Ph.D. student who was doing research on fetuses for her dissertation but was then expelled from the academy.
The incident has already prompted the Heath and Social Development Ministry to push forward a bill on biological materials that would introduce strict regulations on their storage and transportation to prevent such an incident in the future.