A former owner of a funeral home in Colorado admitted to illegally dissecting bodies and selling the body parts without the approval of grieving family members.
On Tuesday, Megan Hess admitted in federal court to scamming at least a dozen families who had paid to have their deceased loved ones cremated.
Hess reportedly ran the Sunset Mesa funeral home in Montrose and a human body parts company called Donor Services out of the exact location.
According to court documents, she removed the heads, spines, arms, and legs from the bodies instead of cremating them before selling them.
According to prosecutors, many families received cremated remains mixed with other people’s ashes. One client was given concrete mix rather than their loved one’s remains.
Federal authorities discovered that Hess had falsified dozens of consent forms for body donors. According to court filings, a former employee said she made $40,000 by removing and selling the gold teeth of some of the deceased.
Federal law does not restrict the sale of corpses and body parts for use in research or teaching, even though it is prohibited to sell organs like hearts, kidneys, and tendons for transplant in the United States.