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Authorities search closed abortion clinics of former South Bend doctor after fetal remains found in home

Dr. Ulrich Klopfer (Photo courtesy of WSBT)

Indiana authorities searched two shuttered abortion clinics Thursday that were once operated by a late abortion doctor whose Illinois property was found to contain more than 2,200 medically preserved fetal remains.

Thursday’s searches at former abortion clinics in South Bend and Fort Wayne came as authorities in neighboring Illinois planned to speak about their investigation into the fetal remains discovered last week at the Illinois home of Dr. Ulrich Klopfer, who died Sept. 3.

The Will County, Illinois, Sheriff’s Office says the sheriff, county coroner and the county’s top prosecutor will speak at 1:30 p.m. CDT Thursday outside the sheriff’s office in Joliet. They will talk about elements of the investigation including the search of the home of Dr. Ulrich Klopfer, who died Sept. 3, and how the remains were stored.

Klopfer, whose medical license was suspended in 2016 by Indiana officials, had performed abortions at clinics in Fort Wayne, South Bend and Gary, all cities in northern Indiana not far from Chicago. It wasn’t clear if a search was pending or planned at the former Gary clinic.

St. Joseph County Prosecutor Ken Cotter said Thursday that police, prosecutors and members of the Indiana attorney general’s office served a search warrant at Klopfer’s former clinic in South Bend, but no fetal remains had been found.

He said that boxes of medical records were found inside.

“At this point I can tell you that there are no fetal remains here.” Cotter said during a news conference outside the building.

Cotter said that authorities also searched a vacant lot in South Bend that’s possibly connected to the shuttered clinic to determine whether or not fetal remains were buried there. Cadaver dogs searched that lot and no remains were found, he said, adding that the investigation of both properties is ongoing.

Cotter said the Indiana attorney general’s office is reviewing whether medical records at the shuttered South Bend clinic had been properly disposed of and reviewed.

“There are a number of boxes of medical records so the AG’s office will continue with that investigation,” he said.

A spokeswoman Fort Wayne, Indiana, police told The Journal Gazette that city police assisted the Indiana attorney general’s office in obtaining a warrant for Thursday’s search of the former clinic where Dr. Ulrich Klopfer once performed abortions.

WANE-TV showed footage of Fort Wayne officers near the doorway and in parking lot outside that building beyond a line of police caution tape.

Police spokeswoman Sofia Rosales-Scatena said she doesn’t know what officers found there Thursday or what they were looking for.

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