U.S. NEWS

More Than 2,000 Containers Of Fetal Remains Found In Garage After Doctor's Death

Illinois authorities are baffled over why the former abortion provider hadn't followed standard medical practices.
Will County Sheriff Mike Kelley, left, at a news conference Thursday with Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow in Jolie
Will County Sheriff Mike Kelley, left, at a news conference Thursday with Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow in Joliet, Illinois.

Thousands of medically preserved fetal remains were found inside the home of an Illinois abortion provider who recently died. Now authorities are asking women who may be linked to the case to come forward.

Dr. Ulrich Klopfer’s family made the startling discovery in his garage after his death at age 75 on Sept. 3, finding the 2,246 containers while looking through his personal effects, according to the Will County Sheriff’s Office. On Sept. 12, the family’s attorney called the coroner’s office to report the finding and request that the containers be properly removed.

Crime scene investigators, detectives and representatives of the coroner’s office arrived at the home and collected the remains.

At a news conference Thursday, authorities delivered little new information about the case, acknowledging they are baffled as to what the doctor’s motive may have been for breaking with standard medical practice to keep the remains. 

According to Sheriff Mike Kelley, the containers were dated from 2000 to 2002, which coincided with Klopfer’s work at three abortion clinics in Indiana. Klopfer was an osteopath whose license to practice expired in October 2017, according to Indiana records. There was no evidence of any medical procedures having occurred on his property. 

A Will County sheriff's patrol is stationed outside the home of the late Dr. Ulrich Klopfer on Thursday in a village south of
A Will County sheriff's patrol is stationed outside the home of the late Dr. Ulrich Klopfer on Thursday in a village south of Chicago.

“I can tell you, the 31 years that I’ve been doing this job, I’ve never seen anything like this ever,” Kelley told reporters. “It’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime things.”

It’s unlikely neighbors would have noticed anything was amiss because Klopfer’s garage “was just like anybody else’s garage,” Kelley said.

“Just imagine your garage ― you walk in and you’re storing whatever ― car parts, bottles of motor oil ― that’s what the garage looked like, basically, ceiling to floor.”

The remains are set to be turned over to the Indiana attorney general’s office to be preserved as evidence. Women who have had abortions and suspect they may be linked to the case have been encouraged to reach out to the Indiana attorney general’s office.

CONVERSATIONS