Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Paramedic took severed foot from car crash victim... to use it to train her dog

By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 11:19 PM on 8th March 2011

A former paramedic who admitted to taking a man's severed foot from the scene of a crash is now being sued for going 'beyond the bounds of decency'.

Cynthia Economou, a former fire-fighter-paramedic from Florida, admitted to taking Karl Lambert's foot in September 2008 to use as a training aid for her body recovery dog.

But now Mr Lambert is seeking unspecified damages in a lawsuit issued last week.

Enlarge Sued: Cynthia Economu is now being sued for taking a foot she found in a car wreck in 2008. She said the foot was used to train her cadaver dog

The lawsuit lists the taking of the foot as: 'Outrageous and went beyond the bounds of decency...was odious and utterly intolerable in a civilized society.'

Economou was originally sentenced to six months probation in 2009 for second-degree petty theft.

At the time, she told a court the foot was unusable when she found it at the crash scene an hour after Mr Lambert was airlifted to hospital.

She said: 'It was an unrecognisable mass of flesh.

'It wasn't a clean cut. You couldn't even recognise it as a foot....If I had thought it was somehow re attachable and usable, I would have gone to my commander.'

The lawsuit, however, contends that Economou: 'Removed the leg rather than delivering it to the hospital where it could have been reattached.'

At the time of her 2009 arrest, police records show the foot was valued at less than $100.

At the time it was alleged that Economu brought the amputated foot to a fire station before a family member brought it home to use for training her cadaver dog.

Body recovery or 'cadaver' rescue dogs help search teams find dead bodies in murder or disaster recovery situations.

They are trained to sniff out decaying of putrefied human remains in a range of climates, including freezing water.

Crash: This is the car crash where the foot was found by Miss Economu in 2008

Speaking to website TCpalm at the time she said: 'This is just so unbelievable, it’s like a dream I’m in.

'I can’t believe it’s happening.'Economou left her paramedic job after the incident came to light.

Mr Lambert had to have his leg amputated roughly five inches below the knee after the accident.

She was sentenced to six months probation, but was not formally convicted of the crime.

In 2007 Economou was named St Lucie County fire fighter of the year.

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