MONTROSE, Colo. (CBS4) – Federal authorities raided a funeral home in Montrose on Tuesday, at which the owner is under investigation for a side-business donating bodies for education and research.
Local police assisted the FBI during the operation at Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors.
The funeral home doubles as a donor services facility, meaning the funeral director would be the person actually dismembering bodies for donation.
The practice is raising ethical questions among other funeral directors.
“I’ve been doing this for about 11 years and I’ve worked in New Mexico and Arizona, and during my time I’ve never seen a donation company and funeral home in the same type of facility,” said T.J. Garcia of Grand Valley Funeral Homes.
Some say Colorado’s lax laws regarding funeral home directors are to blame.
“We can be here to transport the body to one of those locations, but I think as a funeral industry it’s just something that our funeral home does not partake in,” said Kelly Crippin, owner of the Crippin Funeral Home. “I just think it’s something we shouldn’t be doing, we should let the professionals do it.”
The Montrose County Coroner has also removed Sunset Mesa from the on-call rotation, so the funeral home will not be able to receive any bodies from the coroner’s office.
The FBI declined to offer any other details about the raid, citing the ongoing investigation.