Funeral director admits to selling body parts for cash

A funeral director has pleaded guilty to illegally selling body parts to medical researchers – and making thousands from it.

Megan Hess was part of a scam which conned grieving relatives into believing their loved ones had been cremated.

In reality, the ashes the family received did not belong to their loved ones, as their bodies were never cremated.

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Between 2010 and 2018, 45-year-old Hess ran a non-profit “body broker service” alongside the Sunset Mesa funeral home in Montrose, Colorado, as reported by the Telegraph.

Hess claimed that being part of this scheme allowed her to offer free cremations to low-income families and beat her competitor's prices.

According to court documents sometimes full bodies would be sold, at other times limbs such as legs, arms, torsos, and even heads only were sold.

The court heard that Hess allegedly forged body-donor consent forms and doctored other paperwork such as lab results.

Reports also indicated that she earned around £33,600 ($40,000) from extracting and selling the deceaseds' gold teeth.

“I exceeded the scope of the consent and I’m trying to make an effort to make it right,” Hess told the US District Court in Grand Junction, Colorado.

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Hess is now facing up to 20 years in jail and will be sentenced in Janaury, however, bereaved families say Hess had not expressed enough remorse for her actions.

But they regarded the plea agreement as generous but accepted it because of their desire to move on.

“I would like to hear Ms Hess admit what she has done instead of a jury finding her guilty,” Debra Schum said.

Danielle McCarthy, whose active military husband’s remains were part of the scheme, described the crime as “unconscionable”.

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