Bisbee, AZ – A visitor to the Memory Gardens Cemetery who was looking for a friend's grave recoiled in horror at sprawling cremation pits filled with human bones.
Thousands of human skeletal parts – some with artificial knees and hips still attached to them – have been placed in the “sprawling” pits to await burial because, according to the cemetery owner's wife, the “scattering grounds” located about 100 yards from the graves, are where they put the remains of cremated bodies when their relatives don't want them.
“It's in a separate area, and it's not in the area where the graves are,” said Virginia Parker, wife of the owner, Paul Parker. “When it's full, we cover it and then open another.”
Mr. Parker said she thinks police and newsmen are trying to make a “big deal” out of the pits.
Though area lawmen found the discovery “disturbing,” according to Bisbee Police Department Sergeant Benjamin Reyna, they don't believe any laws have been broken.
“It goes against ethicality, of what you think should be done with remains of humans.”
Lawmen had to use several tarps to cover the remains while they completed their investigation.
A compliance administrator of the Arizona Board of Funeral Directors and Enbalmers, Alexander Estrada, said a regulatory investigation is planned to plumb the depths of the pits and determine if state administrative laws have been violated.
A company specializing in cremation of human remains disposed of the unwanted bodies in this way to comply with the needs of an unnamed medical research company with which it had contracted.