By Jessica Schladebeck New York Daily News
PHOENIX — An FBI raid of an Arizona body donation business turned up a cooler packed with penises, a head sewn onto a body not its own, and a bucket of limbs among other startling items.
The Biological Resource Center used to be among at least four body donation companies operating out of Arizona, which does not provide any regulations in the body-parts industry. Before it closed in wake of the 2014 raid, it offered families free pick-up of their deceased loved ones in exchange for the bodies.
Other similar companies operating in the state also freeze people with the intent of bringing them back to life one day, the Arizona Republic reported.
The grisly details in the search of the Biological Resource Center nearly five years ago was recently made public after an agent described “various unsettling scenes” as part of a civil lawsuit against the business’ owner, Stephen Gore.
Former Phoenix FBI special agent Mark Cwynar recalled in the civil lawsuit how he saw body parts piled on top of one another and a “cooler filled with male genitalia.” His most horrific discovery though was a “large torso with the head removed and replaced with a smaller head sewn together in a ‘Frankenstein manner.’”
The aptly-named Gore in 2015 tearfully pleaded guilty to conducting an illegal business amid accusations that he provided vendors with contaminated human tissue and used body parts in ways that had not been authorized by the donor.
“I could have been more open about the process of donation on the brochure we put in public view,” he wrote in a letter to the court at the time.
“When deciding which donors could be eligible to donate, I should have hired a medical director rather than relying on medical knowledge from books or the internet.”
Some of those 33 plaintiffs suing Gore in the civil suit said they believed the term “body donation” meant their loved ones’ remains would be given to a charity to help with disease research while others thought Biological Resource Center would be donating the organs.
Instead, the company dismembered and sold body parts for profit. According to a price list released in 2013, a whole body with no shoulders or head went for $2,900 while something like a foot came with a $450 price tag.
In response to the case, Arizona passed a law in 2017 requiring all body donation companies have a state license, according to the Republic. The new standard however, has not yet been implemented or enforced.
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