Investigation of Phoenix body donation center grows in scope

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX  -- Nearly two months since federal and state investigators served a search warrant at a Valley tissue bank, 3TV has learned the investigation is growing in scope.

A spokeswoman says the investigation into the Biological Resource Center is taking longer than expected because additional information continues to surface that needs careful and thorough analysis.

“It’s God awful; we need some answers,” said Gwen Aloia whose husband’s body was donated to BRC last year.

“I don’t know if that’s him on the shelf,” said Aloia referencing her husband’s ashes.

She says she’s exasperated and pained by the wait.

“There’s got to be an end to it,” she told 3TV.

FBI agents working alongside the Attorney General’s Office spent days pulling potential evidence from the building on 24th Street in January.

While no one is releasing information on why the company is under investigation, sources initially told 3TV the investigation in Phoenix is linked to one in Detroit which involves the alleged sale and trafficking of body parts on the black market.

A statement which remains on BRC’s website reads in part:

“As per the Attorney General’s message to the public, little information has been made available.   This lack of information has led many to speculate and to make incorrect conclusions.”

The company’s owner, Steve Gore, said his staff has willingly cooperated and will continue to cooperate with the authorities to the best of their abilities.

While BRC’s building is now empty, the company continues to take phone calls through their answering service. However, Gore said the authorities still have all of his company’s files.

Meanwhile, Gwen Aloia says she still believes in the importance of medical research, but feels disillusioned and disappointed.

“I don’t know if there needs to be stronger regulation of companies that do that,” she said. “How could something like this happen?”

A spokeswoman with the AG’s Office says she doesn’t know when more information can be released.