Funeral Home Owner Accused of Selling Body Parts For Cash Pleads Guilty


A funeral home owner in Colorado, who’s been accused of selling body parts, pleaded guilty in the case.

The owners of Sunset Mesa Funeral Home, 45-year-old Megan Hess and her mother, Shirley Koch, were both arrested in 2020. They were charged with six counts of mail fraud and three counts of illegal transportation of hazardous materials.

Hess and Koch offered cremations for $1,000 at their funeral home from the year 2010 up until 2018. The purchase would even include keep-sake ashes for family members and loved ones.

According to their indictment, however, hundreds of the cremations during those 8 years never actually happened.

In 2009, Hess created a nonprofit organization as a body-broker, working as Donor Services. Donor Services make monkey by marketing “purportedly donated human remains, such as heads, torsos, arms, legs, or entire human bodies.”

Hess and Koch would transport bodies and body parts to a third party who would use them for research purposes.

The women were also accused of selling body parts that tested positive for diseases, including Hepatitis B and C, and HIV, despite assuring buyers they were disease-free.

In a plea agreement, Hess pleaded guilty to the mail fraud charges in exchange for the other charges getting dropped.

Prosecutors are recommending Hess serve 12 to 15 years in prison.

A change of plea hearing for Koch is scheduled for July 12.

Both Hess and Koch initially pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.



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