Colorado funeral home operator pleads guilty in connection to body part selling scheme

Posted at 9:29 PM, Jul 05, 2022

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — A Colorado funeral home operator pleaded guilty to mail fraud and aiding and abetting in connection to a body part selling scheme.

From 2010 to 2018, Sunset Mesa Funeral Home operator Megan Hess, 45, schemed to steal bodies or body parts of hundreds of victims, then sold the remains to victims purchasing them for scientific, medical or educational purposes, according to a plea agreement.

An FBI investigation into the Sunset Mesa Funeral Home led to charges from the U.S. Attorney. The home’s operators allegedly schemed to obtain human bodies and sell off body parts without notifying the families over the course of several years.

Hess and her mother, Shirley Koch, were indicted in March 2020 on multiple counts of mail fraud and transporting hazardous materials.

Hess reached a plea deal with prosecutors two weeks before she was set to stand trial, according to our partners at The Denver Post.

A change of plea hearing was held Tuesday, and Hess pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and aiding and abetting. She will be sentenced at a later date.