A father who thought he donated his daughter's body to science has been deceived by alleged black market organ traders in Illinois.
Heartbroken and still grieving after losing his daughter five years ago, John Butsch is trying to get the body of his daughter back after unknowingly giving it to criminal organ traders.
The last wishes of his daughter Alexandria, who died at 26 years old, were for her body to be donated to science. The organization they trusted with her body was the Biological Resource Center of Illinois.
Unfortunately, the Biological Resource Center of Illinois was raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation months after Butsch donated his daughter's body to them.
"I'm fairly stoic about these things, but it's painful," Butsch said.
The Story Of John Butsch And His Daughter Alexandria
Butsch's daughter suddenly died in 2014. Butsch thought he was honoring his daughter's wishes when he donated her body to the Biological Resource Center of Illinois.
After donating the body of his daughter to the resource center, Butsch received her allegedly cremated ashes.
However, Butsch now fears that those ashes were fake. Investigators have confirmed that most of his daughter's remains were removed from the Biological Resource Center of Illinois during the raid. The body has been kept in a federal holding place in Detroit as part of the investigation.
"We have no way of knowing if they are Alexandria's ashes," the heartbroken father said. "In fact, we are pretty convinced they're not because she's in a freezer in Detroit."
Butsch said if his daughter's body had been cremated, there would be no parts to take to Detroit. Since her body was identified, the ashes they received must be fake.
Butsch and his family are not alone in their suffering. More families who donated their relatives' bodies to the Biological Resource Center of Illinois are also heartbroken over what happened. They are still waiting for the bodies of their relatives to be returned to them.
Because Butsch knows his family is not alone, he created a group called BRCIL Donors so that they could work together to make sure the same thing does not happen to other families.
Butsch said he believes there is a community of people who can sit down with senators and representatives and say, "Look, we have to control this industry or we've got to forbid it."
Criminal Involved In Black Market Organ Trading Is Still A Funeral Director In Illinois
Unfortunately, the man involved in the trading of organs in the black market is still technically a funeral director in the state of Illinois.
Authorities are investigating Donald Greene Sr. and his son Donald Greene Jr., who owned and operated the Biological Resource Center of Illinois. In April, Greene Sr. was charged with wire fraud while his son was charged with concealing a crime.
In 2017, a report by Reuters revealed that the Biological Resource Center of Illinois was part of a massive, nationwide black market trade all over the United States. The FBI said the Greenes sold individual body parts donated by families in the black market organ trading system.
Bodies of the victims were chopped and shipped for cash. An entire body costs at least $5,893, livers were brought to medical-device companies for over $600, and legs were sold to product-development companies for $350 per piece.
At the center of the black market was the Biological Research Center, which sent at least 650 body parts to the Biological Resource Center of Illinois.
Despite facing a felony charge, Greene Sr. is still a funeral director in Illinois. He and his son are expected to appear in court in June.