300 Bio-Recovery Firms Clean Up Crime, Death Sites

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Fred Schutt and his staff of five travel throughout Michigan, Ohio and Indiana making the sight and smell of stale blood, tissue, fluids and other bodily waste disappear. The Detroit Free Press reports that Schutt, 42, is part of a growing industry of people who make a living cleaning up after the dead. They specialize in trauma, crime and natural-death scenes. They call themselves the bio-recovery industry.

When Schutt started his Toledo-based Bio-Recovery Services of America LLC in 1996, there were 10 competing companies nationwide, he said. Now there are more than 300. Last week, Schutt and his team traveled to Cleveland to clean a Ford F-350 pickup. The truck had been stolen in Cleveland and recovered in Pittsburgh. When police found the truck, a decomposing body was inside. Police say a drug addict had stolen the truck and overdosed in the driver’s seat.

Though the body was removed, a mess remained. The truck had been baking in the hot sun for more than two weeks before the owner’s insurance agency called Schutt.

The business carries exorbitant expenses — protective gear and equipment; state and county licenses; liability insurance premiums, which average $30,000 annually; disposal fees at facilities approved to accept human remains and contaminated waste; and Hepatitis B inoculations for all employees. Employees willing to do such work are paid well, given the nature of the job.

Link: http://www.freep.com/news/mich/clean15_20030715.htm

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