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  • Fort Wayne police search the location of a former abortion clinic. Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette

  • FILE: Klopfer

Thursday, September 19, 2019 12:31 pm

Police search former abortion clinic

JIM CHAPMAN | The Journal Gazette

Fort Wayne police Thursday raided a former abortion clinic whose doctor died this month before investigators found thousands of fetal remains in his Illinois home.

Police searched the clinic at 2210 Inwood Drive near East State and Coliseum boulevards belonging to  Dr. Ulrich "George" Klopfer, who died Sept. 3. The clinic closed in 2013. 

Sofia Rosales-Scatena, city police public information officer, said the police department assisted the Indiana Attorney General's Office in obtaining a warrant to search the building. Investigators did not say what they found. According to tax records, the clinic's owner is UG Klopfer Real Estate Holdings LLC.

St. Joseph County Prosecutor Ken Cotter said Thursday 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 were found. Boxes of medical records were found inside, he said.

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

Illinois authorities said the 2,246 fetal remains found at Klopfer's home were from abortions conducted between 2000 and 2002.

At a news conference Thursday, Will County, Illinois officials said it appears that all the abortions were conducted in Indiana at a time when Klopfer was working in the state. They said the fetal remains will be sent to Indiana, where authorities are investigating.

State's Attorney James Glasgow said Will County authorities will cooperate with Indiana investigators but it appears the only laws Klopfer may have violated were on disposal of fetal remains and failing to do required paperwork. 

Officials declined to say how they know the abortions were performed in those years.

Cotter said authorities also searched a vacant lot in South Bend that's possibly connected to the shuttered clinic to determine whether 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. 

Investigators in Will County found the medically preserved fetal remains at Klopfer's home last week after his family reported discovering what appeared to be fetal remains.

Klopfer, whose medical license was suspended in 2016 by Indiana officials, performed abortions at clinics in Fort Wayne, South Bend and Gary. It wasn't clear if a search was pending or planned at the former Gary clinic. 

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.

Abortion-rights opponents, including Republican state lawmakers from northeast Indiana, demanded this week that Klopfer be investigated. They also seek the return of the remains of fetuses that might have been preserved by Klopfer after abortions he performed in Fort Wayne.

jchapman@jg.net

The Associated Press contributed to this story.