Paul Montano charged with fraud in body parts case

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Updated, October 2017: Criminal charges against Paul Montano reported in this story were dropped in 2011. The lack of regulation in the cadaver and mortuary fields continues to be problematic.

Remember those human heads and body parts from New Mexico that ended up in Kansas City, Kansas?

Authorities in New Mexico have charged Paul Montano with three counts of fraud.

Court documents say Montano owns the New Mexico Learning Center and Bio Care, a non-profit that collects bodies and organs for scientific research.

The organs go out for research and Bio Care refrigerates the body until the organs are returned. Then Bio Care sends the body for cremation and returns the ashes to the family.

Bio Care is then supposed to send any remaining medical waste to a Kansas City, Kansas, company called Stericycle for incineration. This had been going on since October 2008 with Stericycle disposing of medical waste, soft tissue, organs and sometimes limbs. But never heads and torsos. In the last few months, employees started noticing larger shipments from the New Mexico Learning Center.

Then, on March 20, they discovered a head and a torso. In the next couple of days, the found more heads and body parts.They found a total of seven human heads and about a dozen other body parts, all sent from the New Mexico Learning Center. They called KCK police. Meanwhile, New Mexico detectives talked with folks with a funeral home who Montano had given five names of people to be cremated. But they have never received the bodies.  In an interview with detectives, Montano said he’s the only one who loads the containers destined for Stericycle. Asked about the bodies that he never delivered to the funeral home, Montano said they’re still in his refrigeration unit. However, detectives in KCK told New Mexico police that two of the bodies had been identified as names Montano had never delivered to the funeral home.

New Mexico’s KOB Channel 4 reports that one of the bodies has been identified as 42-year-old Jacqueline Marie Snyder of Albuquerque. KCTV 5 has two more namesChuck Hines and Harold Dillard.

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