Mummified remains of babies linked to ’Peter Pan’ author
2010-08-23 0:00

By Nancy Dillon |

Cops are following clues that suggest a link between the author of "Peter Pan" and the mummified remains of two babies found in a Los Angeles basement.

"Whether there’s a link to the author, whether these are relatives or whether it’s a freak coincidence, we don’t know," Lt. Joe Losorelli told the Daily News Thursday.

Peter Pan flying over London, illustration from Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie 1860-1937

"The whole situation is intriguing, and we’re trying to put the pieces together so we can identify the victims and how they got there."

The macabre mystery began late Tuesday when two women cleaning a building’s storage area discovered the tiny skeletal remains shrouded in 1930s newspapers.

They were tucked into black leather satchels and locked in a steamer trunk emblazoned with the initials JMB.

Inside the trunk were papers belonging to someone named Jean M. Barrie, a "Peter Pan" storybook and a membership certificate for the Peter Pan Woodland Club - an upscale mountain resort that catered to wealthy vacationers, sources said.

Investigators quickly noticed the apparent owner of the trunk shared initials and a last name with James M. Barrie, the Scottish author of the famous "Peter Pan" series, who died in 1937 at age 77.

"We’re not prepared to say there’s any link," Losorelli said. "We’re going to figure it out."

The larger of the two skeletons, thought to have been a newborn, was wrapped in a 1934 Los Angeles Times. A possibly premature fetus was concealed in 1932 newsprint.

Coroner’s investigators hope to determine how the babies died, their genders and whether they share a genetic link, a process that could take six weeks or more.

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