PHOENIX — The civil trial is underway against Stephen Gore and his former business Biological Resource Center in Scottsdale. Thirty-three plaintiffs are accusing Gore of lying to them about how their loved ones' remains would be used after donation.
The lawsuit also alleges that some of the families received boxes of what they believed were the cremated remains of their loved ones, but they later discovered the bodies were sold to third parties or were still at the facility.
An attorney for Gore and the company claims the families signed off on the donations knowing the donated bodies would be used for scientific research.
A 2014 FBI raid of the facility revealed human heads in coolers and a bucket of severed male genitalia, along with other dismembered body parts.
Retired FBI agent Mark Cwynar testified to seeing torsos without arms and heads during the raid.
"The heads, arms and legs had been removed and stacked on top of each other," Cwynar said on the stand.
Cwynar also says agents recovered a head which was sewn onto what was clearly a different person's torso.
"I did observe a body that had its chest cavity opened up. Then there was a smaller head or a small head that was attached, and there was crude stitching around the neck portion that appeared to have reattached the head," Cwynar said.
Several plaintiffs also took the stand on day one of this civil trial and more are expected to tell their stories before the judge hands this case off to a jury.
The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages.
FROM 2015: Owner of body-donation center pleads guilty