(CBS) – A Chicago area center that collects donated bodies for medical research was suspected of selling parts to black marketeers when federal officials raided two sites earlier this year, according to a document obtained by CBS 2.
Biological Resource Center of Illinois on its website says none of the organs and tissues donated will be sold; unused parts are to be cremated and returned to families.
But authorities doubted that was the case when they swarmed the Rosemont center and a sister company, a Schiller Park crematorium, in January, CBS 2’s Brad Edwards reports.
A 51-page application for a search warrant says federal officials suspected body parts were routinely sold to a black market body seller operating out of a Detroit warehouse.
The document also contends remains infected with HIV, hepatitis, sepsis were knowingly sold.
In one example, a mother was told her son’s tissues would be donated but were instead sold for $5,000. A head, two legs, and left shoulder were found in the Detroit warehouse, the application for the arrest warrant said.
The businesses are owned by the father and son team of Donald Greene and Donald Greene II. There have been no formal charges or arrests.
An attorney for Biological Resource Center says owners continue to cooperate with investigators and added the document cited by CBS 2 is “very limited.”
“There is significant information missing from the affidavit that provides a fuller picture of the standards and practices employed by BRCIL,” the attorney said in a prepared statement.
David Mathis says he and his wife planned to donate their bodies to Biological Resource Center. But now they have second thoughts.
“As far as I’m concerned, I’m cancelling my membership tomorrow,” he tells CBS 2.