U.S. Marine's body sent home without heart...
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The parents of a Marine sergeant who died while stationed in Greece say that they discovered weeks after his funeral that his body had been sent home without a heart - and that the Department of Defense later gave them somebody else's heart in its place.
Craig and Beverly LaLoup, who are suing the department, said Tuesday that authorities told them 21-year-old Brian LaLoup had shot himself in the head during a party at the U.S. Embassy compound in Athens, where he worked a security detail.
The Marine was taken to an Athens hospital and died a few hours later. Six days after that, on Aug. 18, 2012, the state-run hospital performed an unauthorized autopsy, according to the family's lawsuit, filed Friday in Pennsylvania.
The LaLoups don't know what happened to their son's heart. They say a heart arrived months later and the Department of Defense and Greek authorities claimed it was their son's. However, a months-long wait for DNA results proved otherwise.
"This is his heart. This is his soul. This is what made Brian who he is," Beverly LaLoup, of Coatesville, said Tuesday in a phone interview.
Brian LaLoup, who was buried with full military honors, had served in Afghanistan before being selected for the embassy detail in 2011. He first worked in South Africa, where a photograph shows him with visiting first lady Michelle Obama. Continue reading via the Associated Press...