LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. (AP) _ A funeral home owner was arrested for allegedly selling cadavers and body parts intended for burial or cremation to mortuaries and medical research centers, authorities said.
Michael Brown, 42, of Murrieta was charged Thursday with embezzlement, mutilation of human remains and falsifying death certificates. If convicted, he could face more than 100 years in jail.
The arrest capped a yearlong investigation into three companies, Bio-Tech Anatomical, Pacific Cremation Care Inc., and Pacific Family Funeral Home.
Authorities believe Brown _ whose work included a contract to bury or cremate indigent people from Riverside County _ made more than $400,000 in the alleged body-selling scheme.
Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Karen Gorham said cadavers and body parts were allegedly sold for use in medical studies and to help morticians practice their embalming skills.
Investigators have identified 81 victims, but said it would be difficult to find remains shipped elsewhere.