LOS ANGELES – The man who oversees the cadaver program at the University of California, Los Angeles (search), was arrested Saturday on suspicion of grand theft, but authorities would not say what he is accused of stealing.
Henry Reid, director of the willed body program (search), was taken into custody at his Anaheim home by the UC Police Department, following an investigation that has reportedly focused on whether employees stole and sold body parts from cadavers donated to the university's medical school.
UCLA said in a statement that the investigation is continuing and "more arrests are likely," but provided no further details.
Reid, who was put on leave in the past two weeks, was being held on $20,000 bail, said Deputy David Cervantes of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.
UCLA said one other employee had also been placed on leave, but did not identify that person.
Reid's home and a nearby shed were searched by UC police investigators and the university would seek felony charges against him, said Nancy Greenstein, director of police community services for the UCLA Police Department.
Reid was hired by UCLA in 1997 to revamp the willed body program after a 1996 lawsuit in which relatives of people whose bodies had been donated sued the medical school and the University of California Board of Regents (search). The suit, still pending, charged that thousands of cadavers had been illegally disposed of.
UCLA attorneys said in court papers last month that they believed Reid had instituted needed reforms at the program, and a court commissioner ruled Feb. 10 that there appear to have been improvements.
The Times, citing people familiar with the case, reported that dozens of cadavers donated to the willed body program were believed to have been sold.
"We are cooperating fully with the Police Department, and will share more information as soon as police assure us it will not jeopardize their investigation," Dr. J. Thomas Rosenthal, associate vice chancellor of UCLA's medical school, said in a prepared statement.
Former Gov. George Deukmejian agreed Friday to oversee a reform of the program, which was one of the first in the nation when it was established in 1950.
The program, which receives about 175 bodies each year for medical research and education, first came under scrutiny in 1993 when hazardous medical waste was discovered inside boxes of cremated human remains, something school officials said should not have happened.