Here in Albuquerque, there’s a big news story about body parts – heads and torsos – showing up in plastic bins at an incineration facility in Kansas City, Kansas for cremation. Problem is, the company that sent the body parts was supposed to have done the cremation in New Mexico and returned the cremains to the family. What were these crudely hacked-up body parts doing in Kansas?
Bio Care, Inc. is a company that purports to harvest human organs for medical research and return the cremated remains to family. The owner of Bio Care, Paul Montano, has been arrested on three counts of fraud. The Kansas City police department, with the assistance of their coroner, have identified three of the human remains, all from New Mexico. To see an online video by the Albuquerque Journal, along with a full AP story, click here.
Chuck Hines of Albuquerque is among the families affected by this outrage. His 83-year old father Charlie Hines died September 23, 2009 after a stroke. Charlie Hines helped found the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, and he had arranged to donate his body to the University of New Mexico School of Medicine for medical research purposes.
However, the medical school could use the remains for up to a year, and Chuck Hines wanted his father’s ashes in time for a memorial service scheduled during the 2009 fiesta. He retrieved the body and contracted with Bio Care, Inc. to cremate his father’s remains, which he received in time for the fiesta. Then he finds out yesterday his father’s head was in Kansas.
So now Chuck Hines wonders what’s actually in the plastic bag he received, or even if they’re human ashes. A wonderful idea for a fitting memorial service to close a chapter on Charlie Hines’ life has pulled his family into a maelstrom of doubt. The living need to know they have properly disposed of their dead.
This story continues to unfold.