Agents investigating body donation center plan funeral for MarinePosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- Federal and state agents working a fraud investigation into a Phoenix organ donation company say their work has taken an unexpected turn.
The FBI and Arizona Attorney General's Office raided the Biological Resource Center in January. They continue to investigate whether the bodies donated were used and treated according to the donors' and families' wishes.
As part of their work, they are examining human remains. Stockpiled in a storage room, they found unidentified remains. Agents have been working to identify them and cross-check their findings with family members.
Agents came across the remains of a man named Clifford Walker. Nothing was known about Walker, other than his name.
They followed a series of clues, which led them to Veterans Affairs in Phoenix, where they discovered Walker was a veteran. He served four years as a Marine and at least one tour in Vietnam.
The agents later discovered Walker died without any family or close friends. Documents revealed he donated his organs but instructed the organ donation company to send his cremated remains to the VA for a proper burial.
Chief Agent Andy Rubalcava with the Arizona Attorney General's Office says Walker died in 2011 from lung cancer. As of their raid in January 2014, Walker's remains were still being stored at Biological Resource Center. They were never sent for a proper military burial.
"I don't think sitting in a storage room with a lot of other unclaimed remains or cremains is in anyone's plan. The remains should have been sent to the VA. That was his intent," Rubalcava told 3TV.
Agents working the case took it upon themselves to organize a military burial for Walker, a man none of them knew.
A full military internment ceremony will be held at the National Cemetery in North Phoenix Monday at 1 p.m.
"At the very least, we can honor his service, especially this close to Veterans Day," the agent said.
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