The incident happened last week and FOX31 is answering your questions about the ethics surrounding body and organ donations.
Why would someone steal these heads? What’s the end goal? And what’s next in the investigation?
Over the weekend, sources told KDVR/KWGN it was a blue and white cardboard box about 20 x 15 x18 inches with “Science Care” written on the sides.
According to their website, Science Care is a program for people wanting to donate their bodies to science. They have a facility in Aurora, where an employee told FOX31 their media relations person was not at that location but at the corporate headquarters in Phoenix.
Michael Burg is a Colorado attorney who’s been involved in cases related to human remains.
“Who had the heads, how did they get the heads, what was the purpose of getting the heads and obviously they refused to talk to you,” Burg presented these rhetorical questions to the Problem Solvers on Monday. He also said there could be “criminal and civil ramifications” in this case.
Burg said body and organ donations are multi-billion-dollar businesses. Although organ donations and transplants are regulated by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, he said body donation remains unregulated, which can be dangerous.
“My suggestion is if you’re going to do a body donation, do it to a university,” Burg said. “These independent companies, there may be some legitimate ones, but I’d look at it very carefully before I donate my loved one’s body.”
The mystery continues over an unfortunate theft that can have rippling effects on those wanting to help others.
The Problem Solvers got this statement from Science Care:
As the industry leader, Science Care is responsible for helping to establish and carry out standards for the nontransplant tissue-banking industry.
Science Care links donors who choose to donate their body to science with medical researchers and educators all over the world, leading to medical research and training that improves the quality of life for all of us. As the first accredited non-transplant tissue bank in the world, we pride ourselves on compliance and safety in everything we do.
Recently, an incident occurred in the Denver area where a sealed box containing donated tissues was stolen from a secured truck operated by a third-party specializing in the logistics of donated tissues. The secured truck was in the process of returning the tissue to Science Care after a medical training event. Unknown individuals illegally broke into the truck and robbed it of the Science Care box.
We were made aware of the theft immediately and we have been working closely with local Denver authorities to investigate this crime. We are doing everything we can to locate the stolen tissue and protect the community. Due to the sensitive nature of our business, and as there are several on-going investigations, we do not have any further comment on this criminal matter.
This is an extremely rare situation, and we appreciate the attention the media has brought to the community to help assist us in locating the stolen box. As has been reported, the missing tissue is in a white cardboard box with a blue “Science Care” logo. The box is approximately 20 x 15 x 18 inches. If anyone has any information on this crime, or on the whereabouts of the box or donated tissue, we urge you to please contact the Denver police at 720-913-2000 or Science Care at email@example.com. We look forward to a safe resolution of this situation.
No word on the process of identifying the remains, as police tell us there is no new update as of Monday.
Burg said based on his experience, he would not be surprised if the Federal Bureau of Investigation ends up involved in this case but as of Monday night, they are not involved.