The News You Need To Read This Morning

This is an excerpt from Incoming, BuzzFeed News’ morning newsletter dedicated to making sense of this chaotic world we live in. Join the club here.A funeral home scam sold

hundreds of body parts for profit. Its victims are grieving and supporting each other online. Shirley Koch and Megan Hess are the mother-daughter duo who ran the Sunset Mesa

Funeral Home in Montrose, Colorado. Earlier this month, they were sentenced to 15 and 20 years respectively in federal prison for illegally selling body parts — and in some cases

entire bodies — without the consent of the family of the deceased. After misleading family members about the process of donating their loved one’s body for science, Hess and

Koch sold hundreds of body parts to a body broker service, an organization that arranges medical research. The pair also in some cases lied to broker services about the health of

the bodies to secure a sale. In multiple cases, family members were given phony cremated ashes; one woman testified that she received the “mixed ashes of other people, along with

burnt trash” instead of her father’s real ashes. Four people spoke to BuzzFeed News about the trauma they’ve experienced because of Sunset Mesa, all of them saying it felt

like their loved ones had died twice. When a 2018 FBI investigation confirmed the funeral home scam, “it was validating to tell people, ‘See, I'm not crazy, I was right,’” said

Judy Cressler, the daughter of Harold Cressler, whose body was mishandled by Koch and Hess. “But at the same time, I just kind of fell apart.” Following the exposure of Hess

and Koch's crimes, hundreds of people have come together online to grieve and support one another.