Body of Marine sent home with organ missing

“Semper Fi.” It is part of the creed of the U.S. Marine Corps creed that means “No Marine left behind.” That famous slogan is one reason the story of Brian Laloup is so alarming to many people.

It was August of 2012. Marine Sergeant Brian Laloup was part of the security detail at the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece. His parents' lawsuit says after a night of heavy drinking with a superior officer, Laloup was found dead inside the embassy, a bullet in his head – apparently self-inflicted.

His body was taken to Evangelismos Hospital in Athens where doctors performed an autopsy. From there, the Navy took the body to Dover Navy Base where another autopsy was performed, and the discovery was made:

Laloup's heart was missing.

But the family didn't know until after his burial. They started demanding answers.

The lawsuit says they were then contacted by Greek authorities and told their son's heart was on the way. DNA testing revealed that heart was not Sgt. Laloup's.

Wednesday, his parents' attorney amended the lawsuit to add the Greek government, alleging a cover-up.

The family is now suing two governments, claiming emotional distress caused by gross negligence. And raising the question – how could the Marines have allowed this to happen?

I asked retired USMC Brigadeer General Mike Neil to explain how the Marines could have left one of their own behind.

“There's no place for us, we're not above any medical procedures,” says Neil. “Matter of fact it would be malpractice for Marine Corps to ever get involved with any kind of medical procedure, because we just don't do that… our doctors are furnished by the United States Navy, and they do an excellent job.”

The lawsuit seeks $75,000 dollars in damages – a small amount, considering the gravity of the case. The Laloup family's attorney says the primary purpose of the action is to hold accountable those who were supposed to be responsible for a U.S. Marine.

As for charges of a cover-up, General Neil says it flies in the face of the leadership he learned in the Corp.

“Always approach things with your hands wide open, and if a mistake was made, confess it right up front, and make sure you don't try and ever cover up something like this, because it only – first of all, it's the wrong thing to do, and secondly, it just has greater repercussions when it's found out.”

 

Jon Du Pre
KUSI News

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