The Mystery of the Missing Leg Solved after 46 Years

Have you ever lost something very valuable? You probably searched high and low for it. Perhaps you even grieved its loss. You may have finally given up on ever finding it and moved on. You may have even replaced it with a new “something.” Oftentimes, the item will pop up again when you least expect it and in the last place you would have thought to look. 

You are definitely not alone

Seventy-one-year-old Harold Piper, suffered a terrible blow 46 years ago when he lost his leg in an accident at work. A faulty chain snapped, dropping a 20-ton piece of machinery on his leg, severely injuring it. Eventually the leg became infected and the doctors were left with no choice but to remove it to keep the infection from spreading to the rest of his body and killing him.   

The Catholic hospital where he was treated did not approve of or facilitate cremation. Harold’s mother took the amputated limb to Island Pond Cemetery where it was laid to rest in an unmarked grave while Harold was recovering. A process that kept him hospitalized for three months.

Harold, like many other people who lose a limb, simply counted his leg as gone and went on with life the best he could without it. 

Fast-forward 46 years…

Just recently, as workers were digging a fresh grave site, a bag was found containing several bones. This obviously raised concern that perhaps they had been buried in an unmarked grave as a means of covering up a crime of some kind! The local authorities were called and the search began for the owner of the bones. Soon Detective David Kornacki made a connection, which led him to the now 71-year-old Harold Piper. 

MysteryMissingLegSolved46Years_640x359You can probably imagine the shock and incredulity felt by Mr. Piper when a detective asked him if he was the owner of a mysterious leg found in a graveyard! Harold expressed that he felt as though he were in some kind of movie and how hard it was to believe that something like this could happen.  

He also stated that after he had lost the leg, he wasn’t too bothered by it as long as he could still watch his favorite teams, the Patriots and the Red Sox. He had long since come to terms with his condition and decided to make the best of it.

How do you think you would have reacted?

Quite often, the things that we lose have no more value than a favorite pen or a charging cord for a cell phone. Occasionally they have a bit more importance, like a set of car keys or a pair of shoes. Sometimes we lose very dear and precious possessions like wedding rings or a box of things that belonged to a deceased loved one. 

Treasures like this are often irreplaceable, whether physically or emotionally. But every so often, the stars align and that thing that you loved shows up again. You may have even stopped looking for it! Sometimes there are feelings of surprise and joy! You may feel a sense of nostalgia and reminisce about times that you had almost forgotten. You may even feel a touch of sadness at the lost time and things that could have been. 

You may now have some very vivid scenes rushing through your mind, but it is probably safe to say that most of us will never experience something as bizarre as a missing limb coming back home after 46 years.

The ironic thing is, at the time the detective found Harold Piper, he was making a living selling none other than… prosthetic limbs!

—The Alternative Daily


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