Investigators find 'gross mismanagement' of war remains at Dover AFB

The Air Force mishandled human remains of America's returning war dead at the Dover Air Force Base mortuary, according to three federal investigations stemming from three civilian whistleblower accusations.

The Washington Post reports body parts were removed from corpses without family notification, or were missing from mortuary storage bags, including a dead soldier's shattered ankle.

A colonel and two civilian deputies were disciplined, but not fired, for alleged abuses between 2008 and 2010 at the facility, where human remains from the battlefield are repatriated.

In a written statement, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said he "was deeply disturbed" by the Dover findings and had ordered the creation of an independent task force, led by former surgeon general Richard Carmona, to investigate overall current operations at Dover.

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