PHOENIX (KNXV/CNN) - An Arizona man who claims his mother’s body was used for “blast testing” is one of more than 30 plaintiffs suing a body donation and tissue bank facility in Phoenix.
When 73-year-old Doris Stauffer died in 2013 after battling Alzheimer's, her son donated her body to the Biological Resource Center in Phoenix. (Source: Jim Stauffer/KNXV/CNN)
Jim Stauffer donated his mother Doris Stauffer’s body to the Biological Resource Center (BRC) in 2013 after she battled Alzheimer’s. He trusted the facility to get her brain to neurologists who could learn more about the disease.
"I think that trust is what they fed on,” Stauffer said.
Years later, Stauffer says he found out what really happened to his mother. According to Reuters, her body was one of many sold to the U.S. Army for “blast testing.”
“She was then supposedly strapped in a chair on some sort of an apparatus, and a detonation took place underneath her to basically get an idea of what the human body goes through when a vehicle is hit by an IED,” Stauffer said. “Every time I dream about my mom - I told you she was a quiet person - this person in my dream was angry.”
Memories of Doris Stauffer and the things she loved are still on display inside her home. In addition, there is a small box filled with the 6 ounces of ashes her son got back from the BRC.
"Every time there’s a memory, every time there’s a photograph you look at, there’s this ugly thing that happened just right there, staring right at you. She will never be forgotten here,” Stauffer said.
Stauffer is one of more than 30 plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the BRC, which was raided by the FBI as part of a human body parts trafficking investigation in 2014.
Many families had donated the bodies of their loved ones to the facility with the understanding they would be used for scientific purposes, but authorities say that’s not what happened and that many of the bodies were badly mistreated.
Dozens of those families have been left without answers as to what happened to their loved ones.
The owner of the BRC, Stephen Gore, was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to running an illegal enterprise in 2015.
"He didn’t care about the families, he didn’t care about the people and he didn’t care about the memories," Stauffer said. "If I can be a little small part of his personal financial destruction, I don’t care.”
While the lawsuit into the BRC is ongoing, the facility is now closed.
Copyright 2019 KNXV, Jim Stauffer via CNN. All rights reserved.