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Indiana

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Associated Press
This photo provided by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department shows David Charles, 21, of Indianapolis, who was already facing charges in connection with a Dec. 15 break-in and theft of brains at the Indiana Medical History Museum in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department)

Alleged Indianapolis brain thief faces new charges

A bloody fingerprint and stolen items sold online have led to additional charges being filed against an Indianapolis man who allegedly took human brain samples from a medical history museum, prosecutors said Monday.

Two additional counts of burglary and an additional count of theft were filed against David Charles in connection with break-ins at the Indiana Medical History Museum, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office said. Charles, 21, was already facing charges in connection with break-ins there.

Investigators were “able to determine the bloody fingerprint on (a) piece of paper found at the scene was consistent with the left pinkie finger of David Charles,” the prosecutor’s office said in a news release.

Also, stolen items that had been sold on eBay were recovered when the purchaser became suspicious after seeing reports of similar items that were determined stolen from the Medical History Museum, the news release said. Prosecutors did not disclose the nature of the items sold on eBay.

Charles initially was arrested Dec. 16 on theft and other charges. Court documents at the time alleged he broke into the museum several times, stole jars of preserved brain samples and other tissue from long-dead psychiatric patients, and sold them online. Investigators were tipped off by a San Diego man who became suspicious about six jars of brain tissue he’d bought on eBay for $600.

The museum is on the grounds of a former state psychiatric hospital, Central State Hospital, which closed in 1994. The museum’s director has said the tissues are from autopsies spanning from roughly the 1890s to the 1940s.

A telephone message seeking comment was left at a residential listing in Charles’ name. It’s not clear whether he has an attorney.

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