Woman sues funeral home accused of selling her mother’s body parts

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A Durango woman is accusing a funeral home of selling her mother’s body parts without her knowledge.

The FBI raided the funeral home after dozens of allegations from families surfaced. The woman’s lawyer said she was given an urn with her mothers remains, but now she’s not even sure what’s inside

“It’s very unsettling questions for any survivor that’s grieving the loss of a loved one,” said attorney Chris Cowan. 

Terri Thorsby’s parents died within six months of each other.

Her lawyer, Chris Cowan, said she arranged for them to be cremated by Sunset Mesa Funeral Home and Crematorium in Montrose, about 100 miles north of Durango. 

“They were expecting to get the remains back,” Cowan said. 

According to a lawsuit filed last week, Thorsby learned from the FBI that her mother wasn’t resting in peace.

“Her mother’s pelvis, both arms from the shoulder down her mother’s right knee to her foot, left knee had been harvested before the cremation and sold to a research facility and that her head had been severed,” Cowan said. 

Cowan said the owner of the funeral home, Megan Hess, also owned Donor Services, a licensed body brokerage firm that worked with hospitals and research groups. 

“We understand there is a need for that, but she was providing body parts without the consent,” Cowan said. 

Cowan said Thorsby still has questions about what was in the urn she brought home. 

Was it concrete? Was it dirt? Was it the remains of somebody else?” Cowan said. 

During the FBI raid of the funeral home, investigators recovered 50 to 60 bodies. The business was shut down in March. 

Hess has not been charged with a crime yet, but the FBI is still investigating the case.

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