Biological Resource Center update: FBI expanding investigation of body donations

PHOENIX - Sources tell ABC15, the investigation into a Phoenix body donation business is expanding.

On Tuesday, federal agents raided the Biological Resource Center, taking away bags of evidence and what appeared to be bodies. They continue to search for evidence at the business near 24th Street and University Drive.

The Arizona Attorney General's office is investigating the Valley business along with the FBI.

On Thursday, the FBI moved in with search warrants to another business nearby after evidence found this week connects the two.

Attorney General Tom Horne can't comment on the investigation, but tells ABC15 they've gotten a lot of calls from worried families.

They have a lot of questions. Like what happened to their loved ones' remains that have been seized by the feds?

The Attorney General's office set up a hotline for those who had planned to donate their bodies to this company, or loved ones who recently lost family members who donated their bodies.

Horne says the AG's office has brought in more people to handle those calls.

They say there are four times as many people answering those calls now and each case they deal with is different.

Pam Cameron is one of those concerned.

Cameron donated her husband's body when he died in 2011.

He suffered from Alzheimer's and the two were hopeful his body could help scientific advancements in brain study.

Pam says the Biological Resource Center sent back Bruce's death certificate and his ashes in two weeks.

Pam has had hepatitis so she can't even donate blood, let alone organs.

She also has cancer for the second time so she decided donating her body to science when the time comes was a smart and cost efficient option.

"Nobody that has cancer wants to hear the words cancer, it's terrifying, you don't want to do that to somebody," Pam said, which is why the last thing she wants to hear is there's any more than a paper trail connecting the Phoenix business to Detroit, which is allegedly selling body parts on the black market and potentially marketing diseased transplants as healthy.

"I don't want to make anybody sick."

ABC15 spoke with some hospices that actually have social workers working with patients who signed on with this company. They're walking them through their options.

The AG's office does plan to release information for families connected to this case and we will bring that to you as soon as we get it.

In the meantime, we are continuing to look for answers.

 

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