Funeral Home Owner Pleads Guilty In
Body Sales Case

A Colorado funeral home owner has been accused of illegally selling body parts and
giving clients fake ashes. Megan Hess, 45, pleaded guilty to mail fraud in federal court,
and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years.

According to the Daily Sentinel, Hess and her mother, Shirley Koch, operated the
Sunset Mesa Funeral Home as well as Donor Services in Montrose. U.S. authorities
said that the women transferred bodies and body parts to third parties for research
without telling the families of the deceased.

ABC News claims that a grand jury indictment said that from 2010 through 2018, Hess
and Koch offered to provide their services for cremation to families at a cost of $1,000
or more, but many of these cremations never occurred.

Multiple reports also state that Hess and Koch shipped and sold bodies and body parts
that had previously tested positive for Hepatitis B and C, and HIV, despite telling buyers
that the remains were clean from any diseases.

The women were arrested back in 2020, and charged with six counts of mail fraud and
three counts of illegal transportation of hazardous materials. The Sentinel claims that
the other charges against Hess will be dropped under a plea agreement.

During the hearing, Hess took full responsibility for her actions.

“I’m here to accept the plea,” she said, according to The Daily Sentinel. “The families
believe I went beyond the scope of the consent forms.”

Hess is set to be sentenced in January, and a plea hearing is scheduled for Koch on
July 12.

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