Colorado funeral home that sells body parts gave family cement instead of ashes, complaint says


A Colorado funeral home was shut down this week after a family says they received cement instead of the cremated remains of their loved one.

Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors in Montrose, Colorado also hosts a connected business, Donor Services, that sells human body parts, according to the Denver Post.

The suspension order against the business and its owner, Megan Hess, comes after an FBI raid last week in response to alleged practices at the business.

The order says that the funeral home failed to keep required records for cremation and disposal of human remains for at least seven years.

The order also says that bags of "dry concrete/cement" were found at the funeral home during the FBI raid, Reuters reported.

An investigation began after nine complaints against the Colorado funeral home over the past several years.

One complaint comes from a family who said they had the supposed cremated remains of their loved one analyzed and were told that they were actually cement powder.

Another complaint comes from a family who said Sunset Mesa was initially unable to find the cremains of their loved one. When the family received the cremains, they were found to weigh less than expected, and contained the remnants of a watch, rivets and a metal zipper, none of which their loved one was wearing when taken to the funeral home.

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According to Reuters, Donor Services charged $500 for a human head and $1,000 for a torso.

The state of Colorado does regulate funeral homes, but it does not regulate body brokers. U.S. law does allow the buying and selling of human body parts for research and education.

A former employee of Hess' business told Reuters that Hess' mother used gold teeth pulled from cadavers to pay for a Disney vacation. Former employees also said they had been questioned by the FBI.

By Tuesday morning, the funeral home's website was taken offline and their phone number was disconnected.

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