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Missouri Man Finds a Human Skull While Foraging for Mushrooms

An Independence, Missouri man named Josh Shearer got more than he bargained for when he came across human remains while foraging for mushrooms.

In an interview with local news station KCTV5, Shearer described the moment he realized he was looking at a human skull near a tree while he was out in the woods near a residential area.

“It was in plain sight,” he said. “I knew it was real cause it had the lines of the top of its head.”

Shearer said the skull’s face appeared caved in. The sight of unexpected human remains freaked him out, and he told KCTV5 that he took off running to a neighbor’s house after he realized what he was looking at. It certainly wasn’t a ‘shroom. No other bones were visible near the skull.

mushroom forager finds skull 2
Image by Kristina Kutleša

The neighbor gave Shearer the second opinion he needed, then Shearer called the police. It’s now an open investigation.

Shearer told KCTV5 he’s an avid mushroom hunter who lives in the area, and he goes foraging in these woods frequently—at least 100 times over the past three years. He’d never found human remains before yesterday, though. That was a first—and hopefully a last.

While foraging for mushrooms, always know exactly what you’re harvesting before consumption. Some mushrooms are deadly.

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