Indiana Man Arrested For Brain Tissue Thefts

After being tipped off by a buyer from online auction site eBay, Indianapolis police nabbed a suspect in six thefts from an Indiana medical museum.

The jars of brain tissue stolen from the Indiana Medical History Museum were sold for $670 on eBay.

Photo: Huw Williams / Wikimedia Commons

The jars of brain tissue stolen from the Indiana Medical History Museum were sold for $670 on eBay.

An Indianapolis man was arrested on theft charges after he admitted to stealing jars of brain tissue and selling them on the internet.

21-year old David Charles told police he broke into the Indiana Medical History Museum six times in 2013 and stole jars of human tissue, including human brains.

Investigators were tipped off by a man who bought six jars of brain matter online and realized they were stolen. Charles was arrested on December 16th after agreeing to sell human tissue to an undercover police officer.

The Indianapolis Star reports that Charles is facing charges for theft, marijuana possession and paraphernalia possession:

The museum’s executive director, in an interview with The Indianapolis Star, expressed dismay that anyone would steal the museum’s artifacts. The organ tissues come from about 2,000 patients whose remains were autopsied from about the 1890s through the 1940s.

“It’s horrid anytime a museum collection is robbed,” Mary Ellen Hennessey Nottage said. “A museum’s mission is to hold these materials as cultural and scientific objects in the public interest. To have that disturbed — to have that broken — is extraordinarily disturbing to those of us in the museum field.”

Network Indiana contributed to this report.

Jashin Lin

Jashin Lin is a reporter/videographer for WFIU and WTIU news. She has previously worked as a videographer/web producer for MO.gov and as a reporter/videographer for the College of Engineering at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She studied multimedia journalism and information technology at the University of Missouri-Columbia. You can follow her on Twitter @jashinlin.

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