- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 5, 2003

FRENCH VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — A crematorium owner who removed heads, knees, spines and other parts from dozens of bodies and sold them to medical researchers was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Judge Rodney Walker gave Michael Francis Brown, 44, the maximum punishment Friday under an agreement in which he pleaded guilty to 66 counts of embezzlement and mutilating grave remains. More than 200 other counts were dropped.

Prosecutors said the former owner of Pacific Care Crematorium in Lake Elsinore, southeast of Los Angeles, removed parts from bodies intended for cremation, selling them to research companies through his business, Biotech Anatomical.

The sales between 2000 and 2001 brought Brown at least $435,000, said prosecutor Karen Gorham.

Regina Walsh said in a statement that parts from her husband’s body were found in the crematorium’s freezer.

“I was asked to identify my husband’s severed head,” wrote Ms. Walsh. “You will never know how horrid an experience that was for me. Mr. Brown had no right to dissect my husband’s body for his own greed.”

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