A mother and daughter who ran a funeral home in Colorado were indicted for using the business to sell human remains without the consent of families, authorities said.
Megan Hess, 43, and Shirley Koch, 66, were arrested and charged with six counts each of mail fraud and three counts each of illegal transportation of hazardous materials, NBC News reports. If convicted, Hess and Koch could face up to 135 years in prison.
Hess and Koch opened the Sunset Mesa Funeral Home in Montrose in 2009. That same year, Hess started a nonprofit donor services business that operated out of the same location as the funeral home, according to a press release by the United States Attorney's Office District of Colorado.
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A federal indictment unsealed on Tuesday states that the donor service business would harvest human remains and sell them to customers who used them for scientific, medical or educational purposes. Prosecutors allege that the mother and daughter did not always have permission from families to donate the remains, usually offering families cremation services that "never occurred," according to the press release.
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