BISBEE, AZ (WLBT) - The owner of an Arizona cemetery says he did nothing wrong when disposing of human remains that were used for medical research.
A resident called police after finding the piles of bones out on Bisbee's Memory Gardens Cemetery earlier this week.
The Bisbee police investigation revealed cemetery owner Paul Parker was contracted by a medical research company to dispose of the human remains.
"It takes your breath away when you come here and actually see the amount of bones that are out here," says lead investigator Christopher Long. "And the lack of respect and dignity they were treated with."
Parker says he's sorry if people are hurt, "It tends to get sensationalized because it's a taboo subject. It's death. This is the family's choices to donate the bodies and if they wanted the remains back they certainly could have said so at any time."
Sgt. Ben Renya says there are no charges to file because there is no law on the books which says this is illegal.
"We pursued every avenue to try and find a possible charge but at this point we really don't have much to go on. The criminal investigation is pretty much wrapped up right now," he said.
Renya says the Arizona State Department of Funeral Directors and Embalmers have their own regulations.
"The rules state these have to be interred with respect and dignity which obviously they aren't," he noted.
He says the cemetery will be responsible for removing the bones and police are looking into real-estate regulations to see if any violations were broken..
"I would like to take care of this problem and I expect to cover those things up and taken care of before the end of the month," says Parker. "Probably the same way but I'll cover it up and not leave it exposed."
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