Arthur Rathburn, of Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, is headed to trial after being charged with illegally obtaining, shipping, and renting out various human body parts. The trial is set to begin January 4.
According to MLive,
While he and his attorneys fight to keep a future jury from seeing certain evidence, Reuters, as part of a larger investigation into body brokers around the country, recently published disturbing photos of fetuses found during a 2013 raid at Rathburn's former warehouse in Detroit.
Evidence in the U.S. Attorney's Office case against Rathburn includes numerous dissected body parts, some of them infected with sepsis bacteria and HIV, that are currently stored in an FBI freezer; as well as evidence supporting claims he shipped body parts preserved in mouthwash, deceived grieving families to obtain their dead loved ones' remains; and illegally discarded scraps of flesh and bone in the municipal sewer system.
Reporting by Reuters indicates that officials were aware of Rathburn's activity but neglected to intervene:
U.S. officials cited the case as an example of their commitment to protect the public. But Reuters found that, despite warning signs, state and federal officials failed to rein in Rathburn for more than a decade, allowing him to continue to acquire hundreds of body parts and rent them out for profit. He has pleaded not guilty.