A Marine’s body that was shipped home from Greece last year was missing a heart, the man’s grieving family claims.
Brian LaLoup fatally shot himself during a party at the U.S. Embassy compound last year, and after a hospital in Athens performed an autopsy the man’s heart was removed for testing.
Officials say they aren’t sure what happened next or exactly how the Marine’s body was returned without the heart, but regardless LaLoup’s family is seeking retribution. They have amended a federal lawsuit and now are targeting the Greek government and the hospital in Athens that performed the autopsy.
The Marine’s parents, Craig and Beverly LaLoup, are already suing the U.S. Department of Defense over the remains of their 21-year-old son.
The LaLoups say the troubling incident didn’t end when their son’s body was shipped home. They claim authorities later did send a heart, but it did not belong to their son.
“This is his heart. This is his soul. This is what made Brian who he is,” Beverly LaLoup, of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, told CBS News in an interview this week.
The family cannot sue the Defense Department for wrongful death, so are instead suing the government for emotional damages related to his missing heart.
Brian LaLoup had served in Afghanistan before being assigned to embassy detail in 2011. His family said he loved the Marines but was despondent about a failed romantic relationship at the time of his death. LaLoup told a Marine supervisor of his situation, but instead of getting help the supervisor suggested more drinks.
An intoxicated LaLoup then took a weapon from an unsecured storage area and shot himself.
Both the Department of Defense and the Greek government did not comment on what happened to the Marine’s body or where the heart ended up. The state-run Evangelismos General Hospital also refused comment.