updated 6/4/2009 11:02:15 AM ET 2009-06-04T15:02:15

Five officers have been placed on paid leave after one allegedly flushed a fetus down a toilet, police officials say.

Four officers responding to a call about a possible miscarriage at a motel on Monday discovered a woman who apparently lost a fetus estimated to be 12 to 14 weeks old, Police Chief George Gascon told the East Valley Tribune/Scottsdale Tribune.

Gascon said an officer who wasn't at the motel instructed the four over the phone to flush the 4-inch fetus down the toilet rather than take it to a hospital.

A supervisor reading incident reports came across details about the fetus' disposal and shared them with a superior.

All five officers were placed on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation, Gascon said.

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