- Associated Press - Saturday, December 13, 2014

EL PASO, Texas (AP) - One of three people facing charges in a case involving five bodies found in various stages of decomposition at a funeral home has been indicted on charges of tampering with and forging records.

Joseph Anthony Solis, 54, the owner of Mortuary Services Inc., was being held in the El Paso County Jail on Saturday on bonds totaling $245,000, according to the El Paso Times (https://bit.ly/1w3iyk5 ). He was indicted this week on 42 counts of tampering with government records and 37 counts of forging government records.

The investigation began in August after El Paso County Clerk Delia Briones found her unauthorized signature on a burial transit permit she received from an Oregon mortuary service.

Authorities determined that Solis’ Texas mortuary services license had been suspended in March after a complaint that he’d been forging the name and license number of a Houston funeral director to transfer bodies in and out of Texas, cremate or embalm them. Investigators say Solis created and filed about three dozen death certificates for bodies he had no legal authority to take.

Solis, who had a contract with several El Paso-area hospitals, is accused of illegally storing bodies at El Paso Mission Funeral Home, where authorities found the decomposing remains of five people, including a fetus. They also found cremated remains that dated to 2009.

A medical examiner said at least two of the people had died in January or February and four of the bodies, according to death certificates, were supposed to have been cremated. Solis allegedly forged documents to take bodies out-of-state and across the border into Mexico.

Funeral home owner Lina Lucia Ruedas, and her son, Antonio Ruedas, were charged in September.

She faces five counts each of forgery, tampering with a government record and abuse of a corpse and was released after posting $225,000 bond. Her son is charged with one count of forgery, one count of tampering with a government record and three counts of abuse of a corpse. He was released on $75,000 bond.

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Information from: El Paso Times, https://www.elpasotimes.com

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