HUMPHREYS COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A human heart has been found in a salt pile in Humphreys County, according to Sheriff Chris Davis.

News 2’s Stephanie Langston was the first to break the news Friday morning as the Sheriff recalled what had unfolded the day before.

“I’ve been on some crazy stuff, but this is by far, one of the most unusual crime scenes I’ve ever been on,” he said.

Sheriff Davis said a worker found an “adult male human heart” on Thursday, Dec. 15 at the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) facility on Highway 70E in McEwen.

News 2 received an update from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Monday, Dec. 19. confirming that no other remains were found at the facility after crews sifted through the salt barn.

“We are treating this as a crime scene. We are working very diligently to find or not find anything else at this location,” said Sheriff Davis saying it is being investigated as a homicide.

Investigators with the sheriff’s office, McEwen Police Department and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation are working with TDOT officials to conduct a wider search.

“At this time we don’t feel that anybody’s safety is in question,” said Sheriff Davis.

“It was found in the salt where TDOT is preparing to attack the bad weather, severe weather conditions that we have,” said Sheriff Davis.

“At first they thought it was a rock,” he said. “The process of what salt does to that, it dries it out.”

TDOT facility where human heart was found (WKRN photo)
TDOT facility where human heart was found (WKRN photo)

“It’s speculated that it could have been there for just a few weeks,” Sheriff Davis further explained because of the dehydration process of the salt, an exact time frame could be difficult to determine.

Sheriff Davis said the heart was sent to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Nashville. “I do want to reiterate that it was an adult male.”

“TDOT’s on board working with us to try and find any kind of information about where the salt came from and when it came in,” he added.

TBI also released a statement on the investigation:

At the request of 23rd Judicial District Attorney General Ray Crouch, TBI special agents are working along with deputies with the Humphreys County Sheriff’s office, in investigating the discovery of a human heart in a TDOT salt facility in McEwen Thursday.  An initial examination of the heart determined that it was that of an adult male. Additional DNA testing will be performed to try to determine its origin. This remains an active and ongoing investigation.

Susan Niland, TBI spokesperson

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This is a developing story. WKRN News 2 will continue to update this article as new information becomes available.