Cadaver incident remains a mystery
“Inappropriate” behavior involving a cadaver on campus at the Health Science Building was reported to the University Police Department April 2.
University officials and the UPD remain mum about the incident except for the barebones facts released in a mass email sent to students and employees Thursday.
The email only states the incident was “inappropriate,” the cadaver involved was female and an act of vandalism was discovered the following day on the third floor of the same building.
Case Detective Teresa Denette said she could not comment about details pertaining to the incident or whether there are any suspects as of Friday.
She also said UPD does not know if the vandalism, confirmed to be graffiti of male genitals, is connected to the “inappropriate” incident, nor do they know when the graffiti happened.
However, she did say the email was sent through the Office of University Advancement. The UPD did not release the email sent to students and employees about the crimes.
UAA spokeswoman Jessica Hamlin said the information was released in accordance with the Clery Act, a federal ruling requiring all crimes nearby and on campuses must be disclosed to students.
She also said the email was released to her Thursday and likely took the day to write because general council, the legal team for the University of Alaska system, collaborated with UAA administrators to write it.
She does not know why the gender of the cadaver is released, but thinks it’s to promote transparency about the incident.
The general counsel office was unable to return a request for clarification about the release of information by press time.
The Northern Light independently verified that the automatic locking system in the Health Sciences Building, which restricts public access to certain areas of the building, are not functioning correctly.
As of Thursday, some doors were ajar, though the cardkey locks near the doors indicated they were locked.
An employee in the facilities and maintenance department said requests to fix or modify the locks in that building are frequent.
When asked how many reports facilities have received about the locks in the HSB in the last six months, the source said, “Many — every day.”
The source refused to be identified.
Although told that a reporter was seeking information for a story, the source later did not want to give a name.
It is The Northern Light policy for employees to identify oneself as a reporter working on a story during all interviews.
No students or employees in the HSB consented to be interviewed for this story Friday afternoon, though many seemed to have knowledge about details involving the incident.
However, David Wartinbee, anatomy and physiology professor on campus , said a variety of actions could be considered unethical when cadavers are involved.
He said taking photos or video of cadavers or identifying one of the bodies to others are some of the many ways unethical behavior could be classified.
He did not speak specifically about the incident reported Tuesday, saying he first heard of the incident in the newspaper last week and does not know any other information about it.