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Here's What the FBI Found in a Body Donation Company

The Biological Resource Center Inc. was up to no good
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2019 11:00 AM CDT
A screen capture from a 12 News report on the story.   (YouTube)

(Newser) – The FBI's raid on an Arizona body donation company revealed sights that can only be called gruesome. A former agent has testified in a civil suit against Biological Resource Center Inc. and its owner, saying he saw "several unsettling scenes" when the company's doors were opened in 2014, NBC News reports. "I observed a large torso with the head removed and replaced with a smaller head sewn together in a 'Frankenstein' manner," writes Mark Cwynar. "I observed body parts piled on top of each other throughout the facility with no apparent identification to indicate what bodies they came from or to whom they belonged." Other sights in the Phoenix company included a cooler holding genitalia, a bucket of "heads, arms and legs," and male torsos lacking genitalia and limbs.

Owner Stephen Gore later pleaded guilty to illegally conducting an enterprise and got 12 months deferred jail time and four years' probation, 12 News reported in 2015. Now more than 30 family members have joined the civil suit, which says families were told donations would be "used solely for medical and/or scientific research" and handled respectfully; instead, body parts were sold illegally and relatives suffered "extreme emotional and mental suffering and grief" as well as physical illness. Gore, who said he should have hired a medical director instead of using "books or the internet," claimed he felt overwhelmed in an unregulated industry. Arizona passed a law in 2017 requiring a state license for body donation companies, but the law hasn't been enforced, per the Arizona Republic. (Meanwhile, one state has legalized the composting of human remains.)

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