“Donald Miller's home in rural Indiana was not a place you'd expect to see surrounded by FBI agents.
But for years, neighbors have watched agents from the art crime unit enter and exit the brown stone house in Waldron. Inside, they've been scouring room after room, finding treasures from the world over. In one display case, labeled "Chinese Jewelry," there were items from 500 BC. In others, pre-Colombian pottery and ancient weapons. And, most upsetting for the FBI agents on the scene, over 2,000 human bones.
Miller, who died in 2015, was 91 when agents first knocked on his door in 2014. The 42,000 artifacts hoarded by Miller represent what may be the largest-ever seizure from a private collection, CBS News reports.
"I have never seen a collection like this in my entire life except in some of the largest museums," anthropology professor Larry Zimmerman told CBS in 2014.
The FBI became involved when they learned thousands of items were obtained in violation of antiquities laws and federal and state statutes. According to the FBI, Miller went on digs around the world and illegally brought his finds home to the United States.
Then, there are the bones.
It's estimated the bones belong to 500 Native American individuals, stolen from burial sites primarily in North Dakota. When asked why Miller kept so many human remains in his home, FBI art crime unit head Tim Carpenter just shook his head.
"I don't know," he said in a CBS interview. "I truly don't know."
The FBI is working with affected tribes to return the bones to their proper resting places.
Artifacts from China, Haiti, Australia, Russia, New Guinea, Italy, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Greece and Peru were identified and some are finding their way back home. CBS reports officials from China are due in Indianapolis this week to recover their relics.”