As they checked the carry-on luggage of two women heading to Baltimore, the TSA agents at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport came across the usual things: pink strappy sandals, a cosmetic bag, and a piece of sealed pottery.
But another piece of pottery was broken, and the contents inside were anything but usual: dirt, rocks and what appeared to be pieces of a skull and teeth, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
The women said they had visited Cuba earlier in the week where they bought two sealed pots at a religious shop.
“It’s very possible that they had no idea what was inside,” said BSO spokesman Mike Jachles, adding that the women volunteered to stay at the airport and speak to investigators.
“They were both sealed when they bought them.”
The women, who were not identified, were stopped at about 3 p.m. after a TSA official checked the carry-on bags.
“They pulled the women to the side and everyone else continued to go through,” said airport spokesman Gregory Meyer.
He added there was no impact to checkpoint C at Terminal 1.
Jachles said the women were not being detained and were not facing any criminal charges as of Wednesday evening.
“Right now we are just asking questions,” he said.
The Broward Medical Examiners Office will now have to confirm whether the bones came from a human or animal.
By 5 p.m., many of the travelers coming in or flying out had not heard about the strange discovery.
“Surprising is one way to put it,” said Tim Greaney, on his way Chicago.
Not in South Florida, Tim.