Investigators wheel out gurneys from 'body donation' center

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by Mike Watkiss

Bio | Email | Follow: @mikewatkiss3TV

azfamily.com

Posted on January 22, 2014 at 5:10 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 24 at 11:51 AM

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PHOENIX -- Agents returned to a Phoenix business Wednesday to continue their investigation into the alleged sale of body parts on the black market.

The federal government and the Arizona Attorney General's Office are both involved in the probe into the Biological Resource Center near 24th Street and University.

The Attorney General's Office has now set up a number people can call if their loved ones' bodies had been donated to that center.

Wednesday, investigators at the business were seen wheeling out gurneys, which appeared to contain at least nine body bags. The bags were then loaded into three vans from Dignity Memorial.

"It's federal and state cooperation between the Attorney General's Office and the FBI," says Stephanie Grisham of the Arizona Attorney General's Office.

We first saw authorities, along with hazmat crews, descending on Biological Resource Center Tuesday, serving search warrants and wrapping the area in yellow crime tape.

The business is a human tissue bank where people can donate their bodies and body parts after they die.

On its website, Biological Resource Center describes itself as a "whole body donation program and qualified tissue bank." An online video from the center calls it a facility that "connects those who wish to donate their body to science with medical and research facilities."

The website lists the business is a "for-profit entity" with a rating of "A+" from the BBB. The company's website also lists a provisional license for tissue bank operation from the New York State Department of Health.

According to sources, the Phoenix probe is linked to an investigation that began in Detroit. There, authorities raided a warehouse reportedly full of body parts from as many as 1,000 people.

That investigation reportedly focused on the illegal sale and trafficking of body parts.

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If you or anyone you know had family members that donated bodies to the Biological Resource Center located at 2602 S 24th St., Phoenix, Ariz., and have concerns based on the news reports and joint investigation being conducted by the Attorney General's Office and FBI, please call 602-542-8888 to provide those concerns and get further information. People are asked to leave a message and they will get a return phone call.
 

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