NewsLocal News / April 7, 2014

Man Who Stole Brains Faces More Charges

Jill Sheridan

An Indianapolis man is facing additional charges after the theft of human brain tissue and the sale of it online.

The latest charges against David Charles are in connection with last year’s theft of brain tissue from the Indiana Medical History Museum. New evidence includes a bloody fingerprint found on a piece of paper.

Supervisor of the Criminal Charging Division with the Marion County Prosecutors Office, Barbara Trathen says there's a real market for this type of oddity.

"There are folks out there, collectors, who have interesting ideas of what is interesting to collect," says Trathen. "Six jars sold for $600."

The collector who bought the jars alerted police when he noticed labeling from the museum on them.  Another tipster came forward after reading of the December theft.  

Trathen says local students have recently been using the brains in their studies.

"The jars of human tissue are being used by our IU Medical School for genetic analysis, going forward in the battle against certain diseases," says Trathen. 

The specimens come from thousands of patients whose remains were autopsied during the 1930s in the Old Pathology Building at the former Central State Hospital. 

If Charles is convicted he could spend up to eight years in prison. A hearing scheduled for Monday has been postponed untill April 30.



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