98-year-old COVID Victim's Body Dissected in front of 'Paying Audience' Without Family's Knowledge

98-year-old David Saunders was a World War II veteran who died of COVID-19.

Portland, Oregon: 98-year-old David Saunders, who died of COVID-19 was dissected in front of a paying audience without his family's knowledge on October 17. Saunders' family, including his widow, knew about the 'freak show' only after KING 5 News reported it. A KING 5 investigation exposed the autopsy demonstration at a Marriott ballroom in Portland on October 17.

A funeral director in Louisiana, Mike Clark reportedly prepared Saunders' body before handing it over to Med Ed Labs, a Las Vegas company that solicits body donations for medical and science research. According to KING 5 News reports, Saunders' family was under the impression that his body would be used for private medical research not for a 'paid freak show'. Clark noted that Med Ed Labs didn't inform him or Saunders' family that his body would be used for a 'dissection show' in front of a live audience.

"Our whole staff was horrified that this is what had happened to a gentleman that he and his family thought that his body was going for the advancement of medical students," Clark said. He further expressed grief over Saunders not getting "the dignity and the respect that he deserved and what he thought and his family thought that would be happening to his body."

David Saunders
David Saunders Screen grab - The National WWII Museum

Audience paid $500 each to watch the dissection

Audience paid $500 each for tickets to the 'freak show'. It was part of the traveling 'Oddities and Curiosities Expo' that features occult art and sideshow performances, calling itself the nation's foremost community of 'all things weird.' Saunders' death certificate revealed that he died of COVID-19. His potentially infectious body was dissected at an event where people paid to examine and touch the corpse.

'David Saunders knew his body would be used for medical research'

The expo's organizer, Jeremy Ciliberto claimed that Saunders and his family consented to the 'open autopsy'. "I can guarantee that that man knew his body would be used for medical research," Ciliberto alleged. However, Med Labs denied his claims and dissed Ciliberto for being "beyond dishonest" regarding his intentions for Saunders' body. "We feel that this was not respectful and certainly not ethical," Kimberly DiLeo, the chief medical death investigator for the Multnomah County, Oregon Medical Examiner said.