Several human fetuses were found preserved in the warehouse of a former Detroit body broker accused of selling clients diseased specimens.
According to an exclusive Reuters report this week, four fetuses were found in 2013 by federal investigators conducting a raid on Arthur Rathburn’s facility.
The news outlet reportedly viewed images taken during that raid to confirm the report.
Each of the fetuses recovered are believed to have been preserved in the second trimester of pregnancy. They were found submerged in liquid containing human brain tissue.
As of the latest reports available, it is not clear how or why he had the morbid collection.
Rathburn previously pleaded not guilty to charges related to allegations that he defrauded customers. The discovery of fetuses in his warehouse was not included in pretrial court documents. His trial is expected to start in early 2018.
A Republican lawmaker who has been involved in congressional oversight of fetal tissue use is now citing these reports as something that “needs to be reviewed.”
U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee “recoiled” when Reuters presented her with images of the fetuses, the news agency reported.
Another Republican legislator, U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, was similarly upset by the details of the report.
“The actions depicted in these photos are an insult to human dignity,” the Virginia congressman said.
Reuters declined to publish unedited images of the fetuses recovered, citing an editorial decision that they were too graphic.
Among the other disturbing evidence found in Rathburn’s warehouse were rotting heads found floating in a cooler. WXYZ reported that investigators recovered body parts from more than 1,000 individuals.
[Featured image: Arthur Rathburn/WXYZ video screenshot]