JOLIET, Ill. (WLS) -- Investigators are searching the Indiana clinics where a deceased doctor used to work after thousands of preserved fetal remains were found at his home in Chicago's south suburbs last week.
Clinics in Fort Wayne and South Bend were searched Thursday.
Officials from Illinois' Will County also shared more details Thursday about the startling discovery at the home of Dr. Ulrich Klopfer, who died earlier this month of natural causes.
More than 2,200 medically preserved fetuses from 2000 to 2002 were stored in over 70 cardboard boxes on the unincorporated Crete Township property, according to authorities.
"I can tell you in the 31 years that I have been in this job, I have never seen anything like this ever," said Will County Sheriff Mike Kelley.
Klopfer's family discovered the fetal remains while going through his belongings in the attached garage. Their attorney contacted the Will County Coroner's Office last Thursday.
"When I received the telephone call, it was quite surprising to say the least," said Will County Coroner Patrick O'Neal.
Authorities said they've found no evidence that any of the medical procedures happened at the home, and it's unclear why the remains were stored there.
"It is hard for us to speculate on that simply because it was from 17-19 years ago. We are not going to be able to talk to him because he is deceased. It is kind of tough to even speculate what his motivation was to bring them there," Sheriff Kelley said.
More information could come from the evidence collected at the Fort Wayne abortion facility.
Before Dr. Klopfer lost his medical license in 2016, he performed abortions at clinics in Fort Wayne, Gary and South Bend, Indiana.
"Because it coincides with the time that he would have been doing the abortions in Indiana, most of the evidence of anything that occurred is there," said James Glasgow, of the Will County State's Attorney Office.
Outside the Will County Coroner's Office Thursday, the anti-abortion group Pro-Life Action League held a prayer vigil.
"We were simply there to be with the children. It was our understanding that they were in the custody of the Will County Coroner," said Eric Sheidler, the group's executive director. "We wanted to be as close to them as we could to bring ourselves physically present where they are and to pray."