Parents Of Fallen Marine Sue Over Missing Heart
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Marine Corps Sgt. Brian LaLoup, 21, committed suicide the night of Aug. 12, 2012, while serving at the U.S. Embassy in Greece. Now his parents are suing the Department of Defense, claiming LaLoup's body was returned to them without his heart.
The Associated Press reports after LaLoup shot himself in the head, he was still alive — but barely. The young Marine died within a few hours of being rushed to a Greek civilian hospital in Athens.
LaLoup's parents claims a full six days after their son's death, the Greek hospital performed an unauthorized autopsy on his body. When LaLoup's remains arrived at Dover Air Base, they were missing his heart:
The LaLoups don't know what happened to their son's heart. They say a heart arrived months later and the Department of Defense and Greek authorities claimed it was their son's. However, a months-long wait for DNA results proved otherwise.
The LaLoup family filed a lawsuit against the Department of Defense, the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. government. The suit claims the military and government agencies acted with negligence, and mistreated their son's remains, causing the family emotional distress, according to NBC10 Philadelphia.
Tragically, there's evidence LaLoup's suicide may have been prevented, according to the lawsuit. LaLoup allegedly was heard on the night of his death saying, “I don’t have anyone who loves me."
He then apparently told the officer he was planning to shoot himself in the face with a shotgun.
That officer notified a superior, listed in the suit as Staff Sgt. Martinez, about Brian’s intentions. But instead of getting him medical care, the commander allegedly took him out to drink more — a violation of Marine Corps protocol, the lawsuit claims.
LaLoup's mother, Beverly, tearfully explained to The Philadelphia Inquirer:
"The ideal outcome for us would be to know the truth for Brian. To say it's been a rough time is an understatement."