Authorities are investigating an "usual cache of items" -- including what might be human bones -- found in a shed outside an abandoned Lakewood, Colo., home, a police spokesman said.
The objects were uncovered in the suburban neighborhood by a cleaning crew hired to prepare the home for sale, Lakewood Police Department spokesman Steve Davis told ABCNews.com. They then alerted police to the discovery.
When police arrived on the scene, they searched both the home and the shed, Davis said. Inside the small structure, they found a cauldron filled with sticks, candles and a crucifix, as well as both animal and what is believed to be human bones.
Police believe the items might have been used "in some type of occupt worship," according to a Lakewood Police Department news release. Further investigation revealed that a man who once lived in the home about 15 years ago might have been an occultist, police said.
The man's mother, an elderly woman who owns the home but lives in California, hired a real estate agent to put the house on the market, Davis said. While she has not been to the property in decades, her son lived at the Lakewood house with his wife until 1998.
The man moved away from the home in 1998, leaving his wife behind, Davis said. He has since died.
One of the man's relatives told authorities that the former tenant "had been into this occult-type worship or religion back then," Davis said.
The fact that the items were "totally undisturbed in this amount of time totally fit," he said.
While police aren't sure whether the shed is the site of a possible crime scene, they sent suspected human remains to an out-of-state laboratory "to see if they are in fact human and to see if any type of DNA can be recovered," the news release said.
Davis said it could take weeks, or even months to get more information on the remains.
Even if the bones are human, "we still don't have a crime that we know of," he said.
The whereabouts of the homeowner's daughter-in-law are not immediately known at this time, Davis said.
"There are several people we still haven't talked to that we'd like to talk to," he said. "There is a slight chance that a criminal case at some point could materialize."
Neighbors said they were totally shocked by the discovery.
"It's disturbing," Scott Keller told ABC News' Denver affiliate KMGH-TV. "That would kind of be a scary thing to have that next door to you."