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Workers find human heart in salt pile in Tennessee, triggering homicide investigation: "Somebody, somewhere knows"

Authorities are investigating the discovery of a human heart in a salt pile at a Tennessee Department of Transportation facility. The case is now being treated as a homicide, CBS affiliate WTVF reports.

Workers at the facility in McEwen were making preparations for inclement weather Thursday when they came across something unusual that was later confirmed to be a human heart, Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis said. Officers were searching other salt piles at the facility Friday.

The organ was transported to the state medical examiner's office in Nashville, where testing of tissue samples confirmed that it was an adult male human heart, Davis said. The heart had been dehydrated by the salt and it was unclear how long it had been there, he said.

Davis told WTVF that the facility was being treated as a crime scene. He encouraged anyone who thinks they might have information about what might have happened to reach out to TBI or the sheriff's office.

"Somebody, somewhere knows," Davis said.

Those who have seen the heart describe the heart told WTVF it appeared undamaged as though it had been surgically removed.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will try to track the origin of the salt delivered to the barn, WTVF reported. Morton provides bulk salt for roads in Tennessee and draws from about 20 facilities across the country, but there's no evidence the heart came from any of those facilities

Meanwhile,  a crime lab is working on a DNA sample from the heart, but it may now take several weeks before authorities can come up with a full DNA profile, the station reported. Then they can try checking databases to try to determine who or where the heart came from.

"Everybody's somebody's somebody, and at the end of the day it would bother me if I laid down my head at night not knowing that we'd done everything we can for this person and this person's family," Davis told The Associated Press.

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