ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. -- A headless goat carcass, most likely part of a ritual sacrifice, was found in a container Monday night alongside railroad tracks in Elmwood Park.
Authorities treated the hard-plastic bin found on Linden Avenue, just off eastbound Route 80, as a suspicious package.
Not only was the animal slaughtered: The carcass, under state law, was improperly disposed.
There was also was fresh blood in the bin with no decomposition.
"Preliminarily, it looks possibly like a Santería-type ritual," Police Chief Michael Foligno said Tuesday. "The SPCA, through the [Bergen County] Prosecutor's Office, is investigating."
ANYONE who has information that could help find those responsible, or has seen or heard of similar incidents is asked to contact the Bergen County SPCA : (201) 573-8900
Such discoveries are somewhat common in the tri-state area. They're often found in Brooklyn -- and, in recent years, in Westchester County.
Two years ago, a headless goat and several other animal parts were found in plastic bags at a Yorktown intersection.
A few days later, New Rochelle police found a decapitated goat and five headless chickens in a plastic bag in the Long Island Sound.
The animal parts are often found at intersections and crossroads, rivers or oceans. This is because Santería and similar religions make such offerings to gods known as orishas as a way of communication.
Followers aren't only of Hispanic origin. Jews and Asians belong to the communities -- some are even practicing Catholics because of Santería's non-dogmatic approach, experts say.
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