A Bolivian university director is in police custody after five bodies were discovered decomposing on the roof of a building his school shares with a movie theater, police said Wednesday.
Rector Juan Villaroel Rodriguez told police that he bought the bodies from a public hospital in the capital, La Paz, said Police Col. Julio Cesar Miranda.
Villaroel transported the corpses in a truck that was also carrying furniture to a campus of St. Paul University in the central city of Cochabama, Miranda said.
Police found the partially dismembered bodies on Tuesday after neighbors complained about foul odors from the top of the building, which houses a movie theater on its ground floor and the university's medical classrooms on upper floors.
Authorities also detained a medical student who doubles as Villaroel's secretary.
"The inadequate way in which the bodies were stored presented a public health hazard," said Miranda, who added that police also are looking for any evidence that the bodies were used for organ trafficking.
Officials contacted at university headquarters in La Paz declined to comment.
Medical schools must comply with certain regulations in order to possess cadavers for teaching purposes, Miranda said.
On its Web site, St. Paul University says that its classes are based on "future science" and its mission is to "train professionals who want to reach the highest technological and academic levels."
The bodies have been taken to a morgue.