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Marine's body sent home without heart, family claims in lawsuit

The parents of Sgt. Brian LaLoup said the Greek government performed an illegal autopsy on their son and removed his heart.
Posted By Kate Stanton   |   Dec. 10, 2013 at 8:25 PM   |   Comments

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Dec. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. Marine Sgt. Brian LaLoup was stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Greece in August of 2012 when he shot himself after a night of heavy drinking. But his parents say that his body arrived home for burial with his heart missing.

Craig and Beverly LaLoup, of Coatsville, Penn., have filed a lawsuit against the United States government, the Department of Defense and the Navy, for failing to prevent the Greek government from performing an autopsy and taking his heart for "harvesting."

"I say that because there is a record of there being an autopsy done in the Greek hospital, but we also know there are reports that have been in the media about a black market for organs in Europe," the couple's attorney said. "We don't have absolute confirmation that the heart of this Marine was, in fact, part of the autopsy. We just don't know. And he died of a gunshot wound to the head, so is removing the heart from the corpse standard autopsy practice in Greece in that situation? There's a big question about that."

The LaLoups said that a military official only told them of their 21-year-old son's missing heart after they had buried him. They also allege that the military ""worked to conceal the fact that Sgt. LaLoup's heart had been stolen."

Another officer said that LaLoup had mentioned plans to end his life. But the lawsuit claims that LaLoup's commanding officer didn't follow up on the report.

“I don’t have anyone who loves me,” LaLoup reportedly said.

The Department of Defense said it does not comment on ongoing lawsuits.

LaLoups parents are seeking damages of at least $75,000.

[Philly.com, NBC Philadelphia]

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Topics: U.S. Marine
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