Today: 23.01.2018
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Funeral home owners allegedly paid for trip to Disney with corpses’ teeth.

The owners of a Colorado funeral home collected gold teeth from corpses and used the dough for a family trip to Disneyland, according to a disturbing new report. Sunset Mesa Funeral Home in Montrose also run a macabre, and apparently legal side business on the premises — selling human body parts, according to Reuters, which...
Time: 12:42     Date: 12.01.2018
Last US News: Funeral home owners allegedly paid for trip to Disney with corpses’ teeth. NY Post 24 - US News

Sunset Mesa Funeral Home in Montrose also run a macabre, and apparently legal side business on the premises — selling human body parts, according to Reuters, which interviewed a half-dozen ex-employees who at one time worked for “funeral director and body broker” Megan Hess, the owner and manager of the home.

One ex-employee, Kari Escher, said she was most outraged by the practices of Hess’ mother, Shirley Koch, who allegedly yanked teeth from the corpses to extract the gold from crowns or fillings.

“She showed me her collection of gold teeth one day,” Escher told Reuters, adding that Koch said “she had sold a different batch a year prior, and they took the whole family to Disneyland in California on the gold that they cashed in.”

Koch said she was “not interested” when a reporter contacted her for comment.

Hess and her attorney did not respond to the outlet’s questions about Koch’s alleged handling of gold teeth.

It is legal to buy and sell human body parts for use in research and education — and in Colorado and most other states, it is also legal for funeral homes to sell items recovered from dead bodies, including gold dental work, according to the report. It is also legal to employ a “body broker” from the same location as a funeral home or crematory.

“The conflict of interest of having a side business in body parts just leads to problems,” Steve Palmer, a funeral director in Cottonwood, Arizona, and former member of the policy board at the National Funeral Directors Association, told the outlet. “There are no ethics there when you do that. You are not looking at the full disposition [of a body]. You are looking at how to make money.”

Hess charged $195 to families who donated bodies — plus $300 more if relatives want cremated remains returned, the outlet reported. The charges defray the cost of picking up the deceased, she said in 2016.

The business makes even more money in dissecting the bodies and selling the parts, according to the report. In 2016, Hess sent a quote to an Arizona medical training lab offering torsos for $1,000 each.

Reuters obtained an email Hess allegedly sent to a company this past November, saying she could supply a human torso.

“Torsos are a popular specimen these days,” she wrote. “Thank you for thinking of me.”

The FBI is probing the business, but the nature and extent of its investigation remains unclear, and the bureau declined to comment to Reuters.

Separate from the FBI probe, Colorado state federal regulators are also investigating Sunset Mesa. The state’s Department of Regulatory Agencies says it has nine open complaints about the home — higher than average for funeral homes in Colorado, spokesman Lee Rasizer said. He did not discuss the nature of the complaints or any action that the department may be taking.

With Post Wires

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