The anthropologist, who happened to be shopping in the store in the North Fort Myers area of Florida, spotted the human skull casually on display waiting to be purchased in the Halloween section of the store.
Recognising it as the real article, authorities were called to the store.
Lee County Sheriff’s Office said that detectives responded and recovered the skull, later confirming that the item was indeed human.
The store owner told police that the skull had been found in a storage unit that they had bought years ago.
While the police do not believe the case is suspicious, they will be working with the local medical examiner’s office to conduct further tests on the skull.
In Florida, it is illegal to knowingly sell or buy any human organ or tissue for valuable consideration; this also includes bones.
In September, another human skull was found by store employees in a Goodwill donation box in Arizona.
That skull, which had a false eye in its left socket, was seized by police, but they concluded it was not associated with any crime.