A resurrection of grief has come over the customers of the Tri-State Crematory in Noble, Georgia. Family members who believed that the bodies of their beloved deceased relatives had been cremated were informed that they had been deceived.
Manager of the crematory Ray Brent Marsh, 28, was arrested and charged with 16 counts of theft by deception for accepting payments for services never rendered, as reported MSNBC. He is the son of Ray and Clara Marsh, owners of the crematory, who have yet to be charged.
The crematory claimed it was unable to perform the cremations because the incinerator had been broken, and they were unable to finance its repairs.
Tests have indicated that the so-called “ashes” customers received in urns were in fact combinations of potting soil and wood chips.
Officials received an anonymous tip informing them that a skull had been found behind the crematory.
Authorities found bodies stacked and decomposing in mass numbers. Officials told CNN that more than 20 corpses were found in each of four steel vaults approximately seven feet long, four feet wide, and four feet tall.
According to the New York Times, the bodies ranged from those still bearing toe tags to remains that had been decomposing for over 20 years.
The rotten stench and decomposing remains were nauseating even to those who deal with corpses on a daily basis.
“After 30 years in law enforcement, you think you’ve seen everything. And then you see something you can’t even imagine,” Vernon Keenan, assistant director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, told the New York Times.
Neva Mason whose father-in- law died in December of 2001 is shocked by the news. “I don’t know what’s worse, him dying, or this,” she told the New York Times.
Mason is a life long acquaintance of the Marshes noting their reputation for helping children.
Sheila Horton the niece of Ray Marsh noted that greed was the determining factor in the grim scene.
“His wife and son just didn’t want to spend the money to fix it up,” she told the Times, “Lord Jesus, I don’t know how they could go to bed at night with all that outside their window.”
The Tri-County Crematory served the states of Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee.