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Police stop coffin sale after skeleton is discovered inside

By Mason White 6:02 AM June 25, 2013
Coffin listed for sale on Craigslist 

By: Shifra Unger
(Scroll down for video) A nice looking coffin was listed for sale on a popular classified advertisement website, but the advertisement conveniently forget to mention one creepy thing, according to police reports in Iowa.

Police said that they have halted the sale of the casket, which was listed on Craigslist after a skeleton was discovered inside.

The announcement of the sale of the oak coffin was fairly simple, although a little weird, but what it forgot to say was that it came complete with the original owner.

David Burgstrum placed the advertisement on the website Craigslist, with a list price of $12,000. He is trying to raise money to pay property taxes.

The announcement came to the attention of local police in Iowa and they have now stopped the sale unless the skeleton can be identified.

Burgstrum said the coffin was used in a ritual performed by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, which has a long history in the city of Council Bluffs.

He said the coffin was made in the 1900s and had been used in rituals of the group to represent death.
“All men are equal. Man rich or poor, everyone will die,” he said.
“So the lesson was to do all the good you can while you’re alive,” he said.

The origin of the skeleton inside the coffin is a little less clear.
Burgstrum said that according to one historian, the skeleton was donated by a doctor.

The doctor, who retired in the 1880s, used the skeleton to show patients their anatomy.
Council Bluffs police detective Michael Roberts said that human remains can not be sold without proper identification.

“If you have source documents, then it would be nice to own,” he said.
The skeleton was sent to the Iowa State Medical Examiner.Mobile video not loading? Click here to view