In this report, we present a carefully designed phantom experimental study aimed to provide solid evidence that both absorption and scattering images of heterogeneous scattering media can be reconstructed independently from dc data. We also study the important absorption-scattering crosstalk issue. In this regard, we develop a simple normalizing scheme that is incorporated into our nonlinear finite-element-based reconstruction algorithm. Our results from the controlled phantom experiments show that the crosstalk of an absorption object appearing in scattering images can be eliminated and that the crosstalk of a scattering object appearing in absorption images can be reduced considerably. In addition, these carefully designed phantom experiments clearly suggest that both absorption and scattering images can be simultaneously recovered and quantitatively separated in highly scattering media using dc measurements. Finally, we discuss our results in light of recent theoretical findings on nonuniqueness for dc image reconstruction.