FBI searches Detroit property for more than 24 hours - KMSP-TV

FBI searches Detroit property near city airport for more than 24 hours

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Agents on the scene at the business property on Grinnell Avenue Agents on the scene at the business property on Grinnell Avenue
(WJBK) -

The FBI has been searching and digging a business property on Grinnell Avenue in Detroit for more than 24 hours.

The agents wont say what they're looking for, but, an old book written almost 10 years ago accuses the owner of this property of selling human remains.

Seen from the sky, the FBI investigation at International Biological Inc. on the city's east side appears to be taking an interesting turn. Almost half a dozen agents gather near the back of the property on Grinnell, carrying brightly colored trash bags filled with evidence. The bags, seen on Sky Fox video, are neatly stacked with boxes next to blue FBI tents.

International Biological Inc. is a Michigan bio research company opened in 1989. It's one of several properties owned by Grosse Pointe Park resident Arthur Rathburn. Rathburn, now 60, was a funeral director and morgue attendant at the University of Michigan Medical School. Online publications suggest Rathburn was kicked out of the American Association of Clinical Anatomist, accused of stealing body parts.

No one answered the door at a Grosse Pointe Park apartment listed in Rathburn's name. His neighbors didn't come to their doors either.

Rathburn is one of several characters named in Annie Cheney's book 'Body Brokers' first released in 2006. The book is an expose in America's underground trade in human remains. A lucrative business, the book claims corpses sold for medical studies and U.S. Army land mine research explosion tests can generate up to ten thousand dollars.

An excerpt from the book says Rathburn started his own business supplying body parts. The book says: "In 2002 Rathburn, by his own account, Rathburn delivered 42 heads and necks delivered to the Marriott Marquis on Broadway ... delivered from his company in Detroit."

Which brings us back to the FBI search on Grinnell. A spokesman for the agency would not comment on the book or the investigation, and agents on scene remain tight lipped about whether they have found any human remains on this property -- or why they're looking there in the first place.

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