Two arrested in alleged sale of body parts at UCLA

Two arrested in alleged sale of body parts at UCLA

The Associated Press
March 8, 2004, Monday, BC cycle


Two people, including the man who oversees the cadaver program at the
University of California, Los Angeles, have been arrested in
connection with the alleged theft of body parts from the school.

Henry Reid, director of the UCLA program that makes donated bodies
available for medical education and research, was arrested Saturday
for investigation of grand theft for allegedly selling corpses and
body parts for profit.

Reid, 54, who was hired in 1997 to improve the school’s record keeping
of the donated cadavers, was released on $20,000 bail. He has declined
to comment.

On Sunday, Ernest Nelson was arrested for investigation of receiving
stolen property, according to a university statement. The school said
Nelson was not a UCLA employee. Nelson, 46, was jailed on $30,000

Authorities would say little about the case, but Nelson told the Los
Angeles Times that for six years he acted as a “middle man” who would
retrieve body parts from the UCLA Medical School’s freezer and sell
them to large research companies. He said he did so with the knowledge
of UCLA employees, including Reid.

“I call one of the most prestigious universities in the world, their
director gives me the protocol, I follow that protocol and they charge
me with receiving stolen body parts?” the Times quoted Nelson as

UCLA attorney Louis Marlin denied that other school officials were
involved. He said Nelson paid for the body parts he took with
cashier’s checks made out to Reid.

The university planned a news conference on Monday.

UCLA planned to seek felony charges against Reid, said Nancy
Greenstein of the university police department.

Former Gov. George Deukmejian agreed Friday to oversee a reform of the
program, which was one of the first in the nation when it was
established in 1950.

The cadaver program receives about 175 bodies each year for medical
research and education. The program first came under scrutiny in 1993
when hazardous medical waste was discovered inside boxes of cremated
human remains.