A Los Angeles funeral home owner has illegally sent the remains of 11 people, including babies, to stages of decomposition and mummification, and faces more than 10 years in prison. Prosecutors made the announcement today.
Authorities have opened an investigation into the owner of Mark B. Allen Mortuary and Cremations Services Inc. following complaints from relatives. The morgue is now closed.
The man is charged with 22 crimes – 2 for each person. The maximum penalty is $110,000 and 11 years in prison.
The prosecutor, US Attorney Mike Feuer, called the situation “incredibly sad and shocking”. “Eleven people died, including very young children, and the undertaker who respectfully prepared the bodies for burial is said to have left the bodies to rot.”
It is not known why the man chose to have the remains mummified. Few details of the case are known.
Not for the first time
This is not the first time that an undertaker in the United States has made headlines for mishandling the bodies of deceased people. Funeral home rules are different in each U.S. state, and some states don’t monitor centers.
In one of the most extreme cases, more than 330 decomposing bodies were found in a crematorium in the town of Noble, near Atlanta, in 2002. The former owner pleaded guilty to nearly 800 counts of charge, including fraud and misuse of corpses.
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