Dr. Ulrich Klopfer died on Sept. 3, but it's not his remains that are making headlines. As his widow and her sister began going through his things, they came upon what would ultimately be described as 2,246 fetal remains kept in his garage, all contained within sealed plastic bags containing a chemical preservative. An attorney for the family alerted the the Will County coroner's office in Illinois to the find on Sept. 12, and now new details are emerging. State authorities said Thursday that the remains are from abortions Klopfer carried out at three Indiana clinics between 2000 and 2002; officials did not elaborate on how they came to that age determination, reports CNN.
Prior to Klopfer's license being suspended in 2016, he operated clinics in South Bend, Gary, and Fort Wayne, reports the AP. Will County Sheriff Mike Kelley say "it's tough for us to even speculate what his motivation was to bring [the fetal remains] there." The remains are to be transported to Indiana, and Illinois officials say their counterparts there will have to determine if any crimes related to the disposal of the fetuses or the filing of paperwork took place. Democratic 2020 candidate Pete Buttigieg—the current mayor of South Bend—weighed in Wednesday after media outlets like the National Review noted his silence on the matter. He described the news as "extremely disturbing" and called for a full investigation, adding, "I also hope it doesn’t get caught up in politics at a time when women need access to health care." (Read more abortion stories.)