(AmericanProsperity.com) – Families are especially vulnerable following the loss of a loved one. It takes a special kind of terrible person to take advantage of someone in such a low place — but there are people out there who look for such opportunities to arise. One came from what’s likely the least expected person to behave so heinously toward grieving families, a funeral director.
Secret Side Scheme
A funeral director in Montrose, Colorado recently received her sentence for illegally selling bodies and parts without first obtaining the deceased families’ consent. According to a press release from the Department of Justice (DOJ), 46-year-old Megan Hess, the director of the Sunset Mesa Funeral Home, stole and sold the bodies or parts of hundreds of the deceased to broker services.
Hess met with people seeking cremation either for themselves or loved ones. During these meetings, the 46-year-old told the people the Sunset Mesa Funeral Home would cremate the remains and return the ashes to the family. However, that’s not what took place. Instead, Hess would harvest body parts or prepare the entire corpse to sell to a broker service.
The funeral director would charge families, targeting those less fortunate, $1,000 to cremate the deceased. But rather than getting their relatives back, the families actually got a mix of ashes from various corpses and, in one instance, concrete mix. Hess wasn’t alone in this heinous and disgusting operation. Her mother 69-year-old Shirley Koch was in on it as well. The mother’s primary role in the scheme was to chop up the bodies.
The pair also lied to buyers about the state of some of the bodies, such as telling them they were infection free even when they tested positive for HIV, Hepatitis C and B, and other infectious diseases. Unforntunately, as Reuters reported last year, in the US, it’s not a crime to sell bodies whole or in parts for research.
While there’s no replacing what Hess and her mother took from hundreds of families, both women will have plenty of time to think about what they did. Both Koch and her daughter pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting and mail fraud. The 69-year-old will receive a prison sentence of 15 years, while her daughter and partner in crime will spend two decades behind bars.
US Attorney Cole Finegan expressed his hope that the punishments Koch and Hess are facing will prevent others from committing similar crimes. The attorney declared the actions of the funeral director and her associate were “driven by greed,” calling their crimes morbid and horrific.
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