In a horrifying story from Detroit, federal agents discovered four preserved fetuses in a warehouse owned by a man who sold human body parts.
Extremely graphic photographs reviewed by Reuters show a crime scene investigator in a hazmat suit using forceps to lift one of the discovered fetuses from a brown liquid. Other photographs depict intact fetuses placed next to government identification numbers.
Reuters reports that the fetal remains were discovered as part of a raid during a fraud investigation into a “body broker.”
The fetuses were found during a December 2013 raid of businessman Arthur Rathburn’s warehouse. The fetuses, which appear to have been in their second trimester, were submerged in a liquid that included human brain tissue.
Rathburn, a former body broker, is accused of defrauding customers by sending them diseased body parts. He has pleaded not guilty and his trial is set for January.
How Rathburn acquired the fetuses and what he intended to do with them is unclear. Rathburn’s lawyers did not respond to requests for comment, and neither the indictment nor other documents made public in his case mention the fetuses.
The buying and selling of cadavers and other body parts, excepting organs used in transplants, is legal in the United States. The sale of fetal tissue, however, is not.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., who chaired a special U.S. House committee investigating Planned Parenthood for the sale of fetal tissue, told Reuters that the horror discovered in Rathburn’s warehouse demonstrates the need to review the practices of so-called body brokers in America.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., who chairs the House Judiciary Committee and led a similar investigation into the sale of fetal tissue, called the actions in these photos “an insult to human dignity.”
Along with the fetal remains, investigators discovered rotting human body parts floating in plastic containers.
Truly the stuff of nightmares.
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
Send tips and hate mail to [email protected]