COON RAPIDS (AP) -- A couple looking through old trunks inherited from the woman's mother found what appeared to be the remains of three babies, authorities said.
Michael and Kathleen Manning unlocked one of the trunks Monday and found the first baby after opening a bundle that had an unusual odor.
They summoned authorities to the scene, and the remains of a second infant were found inside a trunk stored within the first trunk.
The Mannings found what appeared to be the remains of a third child in another inherited trunk on Tuesday, Anoka County Sheriff's Capt. Robert Aldrich said.
The trunks had belonged to Kathleen Manning's mother, who lived in Minneapolis and died in 1999. The Mannings, whose Manning Transfer business stores trailers, retrieved the trunks from one of their trailers recently to begin sorting through them.
Scientists will examine the remains to confirm that they belong to three infants, Aldrich said. He said the infants appeared to have been dead a very long time, perhaps 10 years. Aldrich said he expected DNA testing would be done to see who the infants are related to. Autopsies were planned for Wednesday morning.
"We're working on the assumption that we have three victims here, one in each of the trunks," Aldrich said.
He said the family has cooperated with authorities and are not considered suspects.
At the Manning's home in Coon Rapids, the blinds were drawn and no one answered the door. A Manning Transfer trailer was parked in front of the garage.
"Right now at this point we know nothing, and everything else is speculation," Michael Manning told The Associated Press by phone Tuesday night. "You're talking about a situation that's very tragic for a lot of people."
Aldrich said they had asked him not to release the mother's name. He also said that the woman had collected belongings from other family members who had died over the years, and it wasn't clear how she came to have the trunks. He said it was possible that she, too, didn't know what was inside.
"The family is concerned that if her name is released that people will assume that she's some kind of monster," Aldrich said.
"They're just the greatest people," said Linda Johnson, who lives across the street from the Mannings, "and I bet they're terribly upset."
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