Montrose funeral home forced to shutdown

MONTROSE, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- The funeral home in Montrose allegedly working as a body broker has been shut down by the state.

Allegedly Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors and Donor Services has violated several state laws including cremating bodies without permission, giving families the wrong cremains and swapping ashes for concrete mix.

We obtained the Order of Suspension for Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors, the document outlines several infractions.

One of those being the cremains given to a family were quote "found to weigh less than is to be expected.... " and were given remains of a watch, rivets, and pieces of a metal zipper when in fact the deceased was wearing pajamas and not wearing a watch.

Another case where cremains were returned analyzed and found to be concrete.

The letter says Sunset Mesa must “immediately cease, desist and refrain from any further acts for which a registration to practice as a funeral establishment or crematory is required by the laws of the state of Colorado.

It started as a rumor.

"It's sad to see what has happened in Montrose right now,” said Funeral Director and owner of Crippin Funeral Home, Kelly Crippin.

That turned into an FBI investigation.

"Quite frankly we kind of thought it was a little absurd, and I don't know how much merit at least I gave it,” said building partner for Rose Memorial Parlous and Cremation Center.

Now a suspension letter from the state of Colorado requires the owner of Sunset Mesa, Megan Hess to stop all business.

The state investigation revealed lost cremains or different cremains were given to families.

Cremains were also swapped for cement mix and bodies were embalmed without permission

The owner of the only other operating funeral home in town says he is there to help.

"We are getting calls every day of what do we do and we are here to answer those questions help them through it guide them through what we can do or them and it’s just kind of one question at a time but we are here to answer all those questions for them,” said Crippin.

Tami Richardson rented her building to a third, now closed, funeral home and says has heard rumors for years.

"Was selling body parts and doing lots of illegal things he even went so far to say that there’s was kitty litter involved and some of the ashes were actually kitty litter,” said Richardson.

Turns out there is some truth that has surfaced from those old rumors.

"It's sounded a little bazaar I couldn't imagine it,” said Richardson.

The phone number for Sunset Mesa has been disconnected and their website has been shut down.

We were there as the FBI executed a search warrant last week and they are involved.

Their policy is to not comment on their investigations.

The Rose Memorial Parlour & cremation center is for sale, if you are interested call Tami at 970 471 2969



 
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