Ex-funeral director stole gold teeth from dead and even flogged heads and spines

An ex-funeral director who ripped gold teeth from people's remains and sold their body parts, including heads, has been jailed.

Colorado's Megan Hess would hand over urns filled with fake ashes to hide her shameful scam, even giving one mourner concrete mix in place of their relative's remains.

The 45-year-old, who previously denied all the charges levelled against her, finally admitted the shocking truth in July and was this week sentenced to 20 years in jail.

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An FBI investigation found Hess forged dozens of body-donor consent forms at her Sunset Mesa funeral home in the town of Montrose, before selling various heads, arms, spines and legs to medical research.

Hess also extracted and sold the gold teeth of some of the deceased.

Hess was accused of body harvesting from 2010 to 2018 alongside her mother Shirley Koch. The latter was sentenced to 15 years in jail.

"These two women preyed on vulnerable victims who turned to them in a time of grief and sadness," Leonard Carollo, the FBI's special agent in charge in Denver, said in a statement.

"But instead of offering guidance, these greedy women betrayed the trust of hundreds of victims and mutilated their loved ones."

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"When Megan stole my mom's heart, she broke mine," said Nancy Overhoff at Tuesday's sentencing hearing according to the Denver Post.

Erin Smith said: "We came today to hear the handcuffs click."

The judge, Christine Arguello, ordered the two women be sent to prison immediately. She described the case as "the most emotionally draining case I have ever experienced on the bench".

In July, it was reported that Hess used the thousands of dollars she made from her sick business to fund a trip to Walt Disney World.

Charging $1,000 (£834) per cremation, she also preyed on poorer families by offering them her services for free, only to then dispose of the cadavers for her own gain.

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