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Investigators learned Monday that Mr. Eghterafi was depressed on Friday over his failure to gain more visitation privileges with his children. He has not been charged with any crime.

Police said they were not sure whether he was aware of police efforts to locate the children, despite heavy press coverage.

Brain-harvesting suit can go to jury

A judge has ruled that a Portland, Maine, man can have a jury decide whether his late wife”s brain was taken for medical research without proper consent.

James Allen”s wife died in a swimming pool accident in 2001. He filed a lawsuit after learning that her brain had been sent from Maine”s state morgue to the Stanley Medical Research Institute in Bethesda.

In the suit, Mr. Allen said he agreed to donate some brain tissue, but not the entire brain.

The defendants, including the research institute, have maintained that they did nothing wrong.

Superior Court Justice Nancy Mills ruled June 8 in the defendants” favor on two of eight counts. But she also said a jury should decide other questions in the case.

Those questions include whether Stanley Medical changed its financial agreement with Matthew Cyr to encourage him to collect more brains and whether Mr. Cyr used the term “brain tissue” rather than “brain” when asking for donations. Mr. Cyr is a former state funeral director who was paid to collect brains for research.

The judge also said that a jury should decide whether the research lab “failed to oversee or supervise Mr. Cyr’s consent taking procedures” and whether it hired him despite knowing that he failed to follow organ donation procedures at a prior job.

From wire dispatches and staff reports