They say the Army blew up their dead family members. Now they're suing.

Julia LeDoux
August 05, 2019 - 1:52 pm

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An Arizona man has filed a civil suit against a body-donation company after his mother’s body was destroyed by the U.S. Army in a blast experiment.

Doris Stauffer died of Alzheimer’s more than five years ago. Following her death, Stauffer’s son, Jim, thought her body was going to be used for medical research after donating it to Biological Resource Center, ABC15 reported.

Years later, a reporter from Reuters contacted Stauffer with unsettling news: An investigation found that more than 20 dead bodies donated to the company were used in blast experiments measuring the damage to bodies caused by roadside bombs. According to Reuters, this was done without the consent of the deceased or next of kin – and in some cases like Stauffer’s, it was done against families' objections.

“She was then supposedly strapped in a chair on some sort of apparatus, and a detonation took place underneath her to basically kind of get an idea of what the human body goes through when a vehicle is hit by an IED,” Stauffer told ABC15.

Doing this without permission of donors or relatives is a violation of U.S. Army policy, Reuters reported.

According to Reuters, BRC sold donated bodies like Doris Stauffer's for $5,893 each. The company is no longer in business, but over the course of a decade, they sold more than 20,000 parts from about 5,000 human bodies.

Company owner Stephen Gore has already pleaded guilty to conducting an illegal enterprise in a 2015 criminal case. Gore received a four-year probation sentence and was ordered to repay $120,000 to the Army Research Laboratory according to legal filings.

Stauffer is one of more than 30 people who recently filed a civil suit against the company. The filing also revealed new details about a 2014 FBI raid that targeted the Biological Research Center’s facility in Phoenix, Ariz. During that raid, part of a multi-state investigation, the FBI found buckets of body parts and the bodies of different people stitched together at the facility, KTVK reports.

One FBI agent testified that he found a "cooler filled with male genitalia," "a bucket of heads, arms and legs," "infected heads" and a small woman's head sewn onto a large male torso "like Frankenstein" hanging up on the wall.

The civil case is set to be heard in the fall.

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