we United Statethe funeral director pleaded guilty to illegally selling body parts to medical researchers and making thousands of dollars through it.
Megan Hess, 45, was part of a scam that, between 2010 and 2018, tricked grieving relatives into believing their loved ones had been cremated at the Sunset Mesa Funeral Home in Montrose, Colorado, according to The Telegraph.
In fact, it was not the ashes that people received from their families, as the bodies did not go to the crematorium, according to the Daily Star.
The funeral director claimed that running the scheme, a nonprofit service, allowed her to offer free cremations to low-income families and beat the prices of her competitors.
According to court documents, whole bodies were sometimes sold; In other cases, only the extremities, such as the legs, arms, torso, or even the head.
The court heard that Hess claimed to have faked the donors’ bodies, established that they had consented to the procedure through false forms, and tampered with other documents, such as lab results.
Reports also revealed that she earned about $40,000 by extracting and selling the deceased’s golden teeth.
“I’ve gone beyond the scope of consent and am trying to make an effort to get it right,” Hess told the United States District Court in Grand Junction, Colorado.
She now faces up to 20 years in prison and will be sentenced in January. However, the bereaved families say the principal did not express enough remorse for her actions.
“I’d like to hear Mrs. Hess confess what she did instead of having a jury find her guilty,” said Debra Shum.
Danielle McCarthy, who submitted her husband’s remains to the scheme, called the crime “unimaginable”.
Nevertheless, they considered the recognition agreement generous and accepted it because they wanted to move forward.
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