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The Case of the Missing Mummy

This story sounds like something out of William Faulkner. Or Chas. Addams.

Until 2006, a New Hampshire family, the Peaveys, had in their possession the mummified body of a baby boy. Charles Peavey said the family thought of the corpse, which they believed to be the remains of a stillborn son of a great-great uncle, as an heirloom. But perhaps more than that. In an article dated May 5, 2010, AP reporter Kathy Mccormack states that: "Relatives had treated the mummified infant as a family member, giving it cards during the holidays and a dried fish as a pet."

Well, what else would you give a dessicated corpse but a dessicated pet?

At some point in 2006, Charles Peavey's young niece happened to tell her daycare provider that her family owned a most unusual antique. Authorities confiscated the corpse (in New Hampshire it is frowned on to keep dead bodies lying around the house, even if they do participate in family celebrations), examined it, and established through DNA testing that the corpse was not a Peavey. Charles Peavey went to probate court in an effort to regain custody of the mummy. A judge told the Peaveys to bury it. They did so in 2008, in Concord's Blossom Hill Cemetery.

This past weekend, someone removed the corpse from its grave. Charles Peavey has denied any involvement in the matter. Peavey's car and house were searched.

Whoever disinterred the body and made off with it has, under New Hampshire law, committed two felonies: disturbing a grave and abusing a corpse.

The story comes to you live, so to speak, from the Granite State. Maybe we need to amend the New Hampshire motto from "Live Free or Die" to "Live Fast, Die Really Young, and Leave a Mummified Corpse for Your Descendants to Prop Up on the Mantel."
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