FALLON - A human fetus found in a science classroom at Churchill County High School earlier this week had been there for years, the school district reported.
After a cleaning group found the human fetus inside a peanut butter jar that was wrapped in paper on Thursday morning, school officials started looking where the fetus came from.
Superintendent Carolyn Ross said she contacted the teacher from that classroom, who is on leave, and was told he had heard from other teachers there was a human specimen in the room, but said he had never seen it.
Ross then contacted the former teacher of the room, Joe de Braga, now the Elko assistant superintendent, who told her there was a fetus inside the room, and when asked where, he mentioned it was being stored inside a peanut butter jar.
"We think it has been there for many years, and it is illegal to be there," Ross said.
The Fallon Police Department, when contacted by school officials Thursday morning, photographed the scene and the district called out a HAZMAT team to clean the classroom.
The fetus, according to the police, was less than 20 weeks old and had been surgically removed.
A HAZMAT team was called in to clean the room, but Ross said that was because mice had been seen.
Some rodents carry the Hantavirus disease, and Ross wanted to stress there is no evidence the rodents spotted carry the virus.
Initially, the superintendent thought some criminal activity might have occurred.
Fallon Police Chief Kevin Gehman said since the school district is not equipped to dispose of things like this, his department took over.
He said the Fallon police will take the fetus to a medical facility, which will then dispose of it.