Skull displayed on mantelpiece belonged to missing person

Creepy ornament that sat in sunglasses over Tennessee fireplace linked to elderly man last seen in 2012.


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Junior Willie McCann
Junior Willie McCann
(Morgan County Sheriff’s Office)

A warning: Halloween decorations are not always what they seem.

A skull in sunglasses that adorned a Tennessee fireplace for over a year in fact belonged to an elderly man who had been missing for eight years, local authorities said.

Local District Attorney Russell Johnson confirmed Monday in a Facebook press release that DNA from the skull matched the DNA of family members of Junior Willie McCann, a 79-year-old from the town of Gobey in Morgan County who was last seen on September 9, 2012.

An unidentified person found the death’s head back in March 2019 near McCann’s hometown and decided to stick it on the mantelpiece, where it was displayed for more than a year wearing sunglasses.

Someone eventually reported the gruesome ornament to the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), and investigators sent it to Knox County Regional Forensics Center and the UT Department of Anthropology for identification, according to the release.

A search was then conducted of the area where the skull had supposedly been found, the MCSO said.

Authorities believe McCann may have been killed by a family member who is now also dead, but are asking anyone with information to contact the sheriff’s office.

At the time of his disappearance, McCann was said to be 5’5″ and 125lbs, with brown hair and blue eyes. 

He was last seen wearing a blue, uniform-style button-down shirt that said “JR” on the right chest, along with dark blue pants.

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