Miami Beach police said a beachgoer spotted the remains Tuesday afternoon, per local media reports
The remains of a fetus were found on Miami Beach on Tuesday, according to police
Police say “there are a lot of unknowns” that remain in the “unique” case
A death investigation has been opened
Police in Florida say an investigation has been opened after the remains of a fetus washed ashore.
The remains were removed from the site a short time later, WSVN reported.
Footage from NBC affiliate WTVJ appeared to show authorities removing the remains from a closed-off area with a shovel.
A death investigation has been opened following the discovery.
Miami Beach Police Department Officer Christopher Bess said “there are a lot of unknowns” that remain in the “unique” case.
“We don’t know what the mother’s part, if she played a part in this,” Bess said, per NBC affiliate WTVJ.
The Miami Beach Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
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The medical examiner will now assess the remains to determine as much information about the fetus as possible, per the reports.
"Honestly, due to the elements, it's a beach with saltwater, sand... the medical examiner's office will have to help us with this," Bess said, per USA Today.
Beachgoers were stunned by the discovery, according to WSVN. One person described it as “horrible” and “horrifying,” while another called it “shocking.”
Anybody with information about the recently-discovered remains is asked to contact Miami Beach police.
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