Mother of funeral home operator involved in body selling scheme pleads guilty


DENVER — The mother of a Megan Hess, the former operator of a Montrose funeral home accused of selling body parts without family consent, pleaded guilty to federal charges Tuesday.

Shirley Koch, 69, pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and aiding and abetting as part of a plea agreement. Hess entered a guilty plea last week.

The women operated Sunset Mesa Funeral Home in Montrose from 2010 to 2018.

Authorities said that on several occasions, the pair illegally sold body parts or entire bodies without the consent of the family of the deceased.

Hess and Koch were charged in 2020 with six counts of mail fraud and three counts of illegal transportation of hazardous materials.

Koch and Hess will be sentenced at a later date and each face up to 20 years in prison.