Skeleton found after Florida man carries human skull to Publix shopping center

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SEBASTIAN, Fla. — Authorities in central Florida have a mystery on their hands after a homeless man brought a human skull to a shopping center.

“He was using it as a puppet,” said witness Nick Pecoraro to WPBF. “It smelled like death.”

The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office says in a news release that deputies were summoned Tuesday morning after the man holding the skull walked into the parking lot at Riverwalk Plaza in Roseland. He asked a maintenance worker to notify authorities about skeletal remains in the woods across the street.

“He had put the skull on top of a trash can over there because he wanted to tell somebody to call the sheriff’s office,” Indian River county Sheriff’s Office spokesman Thomas Raulen told the station..

The deputies found the remains, which appeared to have been disturbed by animals. Officials say several people had been living in the woods, which is known for transient visitors. People living there gave the deputies information about the dead person’s possible identity.

Investigators weren’t immediately able to confirm the identity or how the person died.

The Associated Press contributed