Tuesday, June 29, 2010

KCK body parts case: Charges dropped as prosecutors build stronger case

Posted By on Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 12:30 PM

click to enlarge Prosecutors are building a stronger case against Paul Montano.
  • Prosecutors are building a stronger case against Paul Montano.

Prosecutors in New Mexico have dropped fraud charges against Paul Montano, who allegedly shipped parts of bodies donated for medical science to a medical waste facility in Kansas City, Kansas.

But Montano's legal woes don't appear to be over.

KOB

Channel 4 in New Mexico reports that prosecutors wanted more time to

build a case against Montano, who owns the New Mexico Learning Center

and BioCare, a

non-profit

that claimed it was collecting bodies and organs for scientific

research.

On March 20, employees of KCK medical waste facility Stericycle discovered a head and a

torso. In the next couple of days, they found more heads and body parts.

A total of seven human heads and about a dozen

other body parts were collected, all sent from Montano's New Mexico Learning Center.

Last week,

KOB reported

that Montano was accused of not being properly licensed with the state

of New Mexico to be "a direct disposer." So he should never had accepted

the body of Johnny Frausto, whose remains were supposed to be cremated

and returned to his family. But Frausto's head and limbs ended up at Stericycle while his torso was at BioCare's Albuquerque

facility.

That'll get you sued, and that's just what

Frausto's widow, Sharon Frausto, is doing.

The story gets worse

for families still waiting for their loved

ones' remains to be returned. According to another New Mexico TV

station, KQRE,

many won't ever get their family member's remains back:

Medical investigators recently finished DNA testing on more than 45 sets

of remains and say they may never identify all of the remains because

of improper storage at BioCare.

...

For weeks doctors have worked every possible angle to identify all the

bodies.

"We have photographed everyone, x-rayed them all, x-rayed any clothing.

We have looked up any serial numbers of any implants that were found. We

have collected DNA samples

on every single one of the specimens," [Office of the Medical Examiner employee Amy] Boule said.

Now that DNA results are back, OMI officials will start matching parts.

Then the remains will be cremated and labeled by their DNA strands in

case families come forward to claim them.

Only 18 bodies have been identified.

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