A man accused of running a million dollar body snatching ring will be going to prison and an Okmulgee woman can finally have some peace. The News On 6's Jeffrey Smith reports it's a story that reaches from New York City to Green Country.
Michael Mastromarino pleaded guilty to dismembering dead bodies in New York and selling the parts across the country. Two years ago, The News On 6 reported that an Okmulgee woman had received one of those parts in surgery. Now, she says she's finally have closure.
Michael Mastromarino admitted to cutting up dead bodies and selling the bones for medical procedures performed across the country.
"I had to sign for a letter. And I got it, a big packet from Hillcrest, and in big letters on the front it says bone and tissue recall, and I'm thinking what?" said Susan Fisher of Okmulgee.
She had a cadaver bone implanted in her neck four years ago at Tulsa's Hillcrest Hospital. It turned out that bone came from a body illegally snatched by Mastromarino.
"It's almost something out of a freaky movie kind of thing," said Susan Fisher.
Mastromarino admitted that he cut-up more than 1,000 bodies. And those body parts, which were used in thousands of procedures, were never tested for diseases. Fisher says she still has to undergo dozens of tests for hepatitis and HIV.
"I have to be tested every six months for 10 years," said Susan Fisher.
It's been years since she first found out that the bones and tissues that came from Mastromarino's company, Biomedical Tissue Services, were not screened for infectious diseases. Since then, she's been following his footsteps, from his arrest all the way to Tuesday's prosecution.
"I signed up for the Google alerts, so every time something comes through, I got every single story. And, it's all saved here on my computer," said Susan Fisher.
And even though Fisher is healthy, she says she still gets nightmares.
"Every time I go back to the doctor there is always doubt in my mind. You're always waiting on that phone call that says wait, we found something," said Susan Fisher.
Mastromarino made more than $4 million from his operation. All of that has been seized by the authorities. He'll serve a maximum of 54 years behind bars.
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