BALTIMORE—Police officers investigating complaints of a strange smell coming from an abandoned lot in the Curtis Bay neighborhood of Baltimore early Monday morning were shocked to stumble on the partially decomposed bodies of two unidentified children lying right next to an arrowhead that could be hundreds or perhaps even thousands of years old.
"At this time, we are using all available resources to determine just what occurred here," Sgt. Richard Palmer of the Baltimore Police Department said. "The best scenario we can imagine right now is that there was some kind of awesome Indian battle—maybe even an all-out war."
"Of course, we'd love to find conclusive evidence that this thing belonged to Chief Sitting Bull himself," Palmer added. "Right now, however, we just can't say for sure."
While police say they remain baffled by the events that unfolded, they have been able to determine that the bodies are those of two young girls, believed to be between the ages of 8 and 10, both of whom suffered an apparently violent death. Their bodies showed signs of blunt force trauma to the head, as well as several postmortem stab wounds, although no indications of sexual abuse were present. A steel pipe bearing human blood and tissue matter was found at the scene but did not appear to be related to the arrowhead.
"We just couldn't believe what we were seeing," said Lt. Derek LaScolla, the lead detective on the case. "As a police officer, you like to think you're prepared for anything, but an arrowhead all the way out here is an extremely rare find. I would have assumed they'd all been dug up during construction by now."
LaScolla said the discovery was made at approximately 4 a.m., at which point police cordoned off a quarter-mile area surrounding the arrowhead and began conducting an extensive search for additional clues, such as some pottery or beads. The girls' dental records could not be checked because the teeth had all been removed, and the bodies do not appear to match any recent missing persons reports or any artists' depictions of what the Indians who once lived in the Baltimore area might have looked like.
Unfortunately, no woolly mammoth hairs were found on the arrowhead.
"It's difficult to imagine anything more tragic than this," Sgt. Palmer said. "Brave warriors used to walk on this very ground, and this [arrowhead] is all that remains of their legacy. It really puts everything into perspective."
Initial forensics reports indicated that, because plants had not grown over the corpses completely, they had likely not been in that location for more than three months, and after years of exposure to the elements, the arrowhead's point was still quite sharp.
"We're conducting an extensive study on the numerous gouge marks," forensic investigator Marcelline Woodward said. "That's how they sharpened them. It's white flint, characteristic of the Delaware tribe, or maybe the Conoy. We'll put everything on hold at the lab until we can solve this mystery."
Police continued to search the area through the night, but no additional bodies or Indian artifacts were found. Though authorities are hesitant to make any statements about the killer, they say that the typical profile is generally a male between the ages of 17 and 40, which was most likely the age of the hunter who lost his arrowhead in the first place.
"It would be irresponsible to say anything definitive until we get the carbon dating results," said Woodward, sealing the arrowhead in a plastic baggie marked "Don't Touch!!!". "But if I had to guess, I'd say this arrowhead's like 500 years old. Imagine the journey this must have taken."
The Baltimore police are urging citizens to come forward if they have noticed any suspicious activity in the neighborhood, if they might be able to identify the girls, or if they know anything about arrowheads.