A Russian historian gruesomely decorated his home with 29 mummified female bodies he dug up from local graveyards and dressed as life-sized dolls, authorities said.

The 45-year-old man, whose photo was released by the police, was arrested last week for desecrating dead bodies and their burial sites, according to the Russian news agency, RIA Novosti.

He reportedly dug up the bodies at cemeteries throughout the city of Nizhny Novgorod, about 250 miles from Moscow, over a two-year period. The arrest followed a long-running investigation into the desecration of graves at several cemeteries in Nizhny Novgorod, police spokeswoman Svetlana Kovylina said.

Russian newspaper reports quoted police as saying that the man had only selected the remains of young women for his grisly collection.

His fingerprints were also found in several burial grounds. Though the police did not name the man, local media identified him as Anatoly Moskvin, a well-respected specialist in cemeteries, RIA reported. He also has a PhD in Celtic studies.