Leg Stolen from L.A. County Coroner

L.A. Coroner gear (Associated Press)
Associated Press

Someone stole a leg from a corpse, and the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office is trying to figure out which employee spilled the beans about the theft.

According to Mark Fajardo, the county’s chief medical examiner-coroner, early Monday morning, staffers from One Legacy, a nonprofit organ and tissue donation organization working with the coroner’s office, parked their vehicle while they ate breakfast at a restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. The donated leg, stored in a cooler in blue-and-clear-plastic, rested in the vehicle. When the staffers returned, the cooler was gone.

The post prompted the media to inquire what had happened.

Fajardo sent a letter delineating the details of the incident to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors; a copy was acquired by The Los Angeles Times. In the letter, according to NBC Los Angeles, he wrote, ” … I was informed by OneLegacy that a potentially libelous statement was posted on the Donate Life website (under the name Frank Peters-not a known employee of the Department) detailing the particulars of the incident and that OneLegacy and the Medical Examiner-Coroner was involved in a cover up conspiracy,” He added, “As it stands today, we do not know who ‘leaked’ the information, but it appears at face value to be one of my employees.”

The Los Angeles Police Department was informed about the theft.

The leg’s deceased donor’s family was informed of the theft; a DNA sample from the donor was obtained in case a leg is found and can be certified to be the stolen leg. ABC 7 reported that One Legacy said it would require employees to take organs and tissues with them when they leave their vehicles, or leave someone to watch them.


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