Thieves Steal Human Leg From Non-Profit Tissue Donation Van, Coroner ‘Distressed’ By The Theft Of Human Body Part

A human leg was stolen from a van while en route to a tissue donation facility in California. The non-profit organization OneLegacy was taking the leg to be processed at a tissue donation facility when they stopped for a bite to eat at the Original Pantry in downtown Los Angeles. However, when they returned to their unmarked van, the windows were broken and the leg was missing.

The Daily Mail reports that the human leg was stolen as the non-profit organization OneLegacy was transporting it to a California tissue donation center. The drivers of the van stopped for some food at the Original Pantry in downtown Las Angeles before making their way to the tissue donation site. However, as they ate their meals inside, someone broke into their van and stole two backpacks that contained personal items along with the leg. OneLegacy’s chief executive officer Tom Mone notes that the van was parked in downtown Los Angeles when the break-in occurred and that the stop had been approved.

“Upon returning to the van, the team discovered the van’s window had been broken. The thieves took two backpacks containing the team’s personal belongings and a donated human tissue from a transport container.”

Leg stolen

After the drivers realized the human leg was missing, they contacted authorities and a police report was filed. The police say that it does not appear that the human tissue was targeted in the break-in, but rather the thieves were just looking for valuables and likely did not know that there was a human leg in the transport container.

“This appears to be a routine vehicle break-in by thieves looking for valuables. We do not believe the van was targeted because it was transporting donated tissue.”

A OneLegacy staff member told the Los Angeles Times that the thieves would not have been able to tell that it was a human leg inside of the cooler, as it was wrapped in blue plastic before being placed inside of the cooler. Therefore, it is unlikely that the tissue was targeted in the theft. It is safe to say that the thieves were in for a big surprise when they unwrapped the cooler contents.

Human leg stolen

Following the theft, the drivers contacted OneLegacy organizers about the missing leg. The coroner’s office and the donor’s family were also contacted. It was noted that the coroner was “distressed” by the theft, and it “appears” that one of the Medical Examiner’s Office employees may have made “libelous” statements about the medical examiner in a Facebook post claiming that the leg’s disappearance was all a cover-up.

“I was informed by OneLegacy that a potentially libelous statement was posted on the Donate Life website detailing the particulars of the incident and that OneLegacy and the Medical Examiner-Coroner was involved in a cover up conspiracy. As it stands today, we do not know who “leaked” the information, but it appears at face value to be one of my employees.”

According to the statement, it seems that someone is claiming online that OneLegacy and the coroner were part of a cover-up involving the deceased and that the theft of the human leg was staged. However, the medical examiner says the statement is “libelous” and untrue. Meanwhile, it seems they are trying to identify the employee responsible for spreading the misinformation.

Leg stolen

The police say that they have obtained a sample of the deceased donor’s DNA in a bid to locate the missing leg. However, at this time, there have been no reports that the leg has been recovered.

[Photo by David McNew/Getty Images]