Hess and shirly koch were sentenced to 20 and 15 years in jail respectively for selling body parts without consent. hess ran the sunset mesa funeral home in montrose, colorado and charged families up to $1,000 for cremations that never took place. between 2010 and 2018, hess and koch dissected 560 corpses and sold parts to medical training companies, sometimes even selling entire bodies.
Case was triggered by a reuters investigation in 2018, which led to an fbi raid of the home. during the sentencing hearing on tuesday, emotional victim statements dominated the proceedings. judge christine arguello ordered the two women to be sent to prison immediately.
And koch used forged donor forms to sell body parts, including arms, legs and heads. in some cases, hess offered free cremations in exchange for body part donations. it is legal in the us to donate organs, but not to sell them. the two women preyed on vulnerable victims and judge arguello described the case as “the most emotionally draining case i have ever experienced on the bench”. nancy overhoff said “when megan stole my mom’s heart, she broke mine”, and erin smith said “we came today to hear the handcuffs click”.