LAFAYETTE, Ga. (AP) _ Relatives of the man accused of dumping hundreds of corpses on the grounds of a crematory have been charged with lying on a death certificate.
Tommy Ray Marsh Sr. and Clara Marsh and their daughter, Rhames Marsh, all were arrested on Friday.
Tommy Ray and Clara Marsh are the parents of Ray Marsh, who is being held on 174 counts of theft by deception, accused of discarding bodies he was paid to cremate and in some cases passing off dirt or cement powder as human remains.
Ray Marsh, 28, took over the Tri-State Crematory in northern Georgia from his parents in 1996.
Prosecutors say the three relatives misrepresented themselves as funeral home officials by signing death certificates. They were taken to the Walker County jail after their arrests, but later released on bond.
During a brief court hearing, the 76-year-old Tommy Ray Marsh sat in a wheelchair, and his wife, 70, wiped his nose and face. Their lawyer, Ken Poston, said Marsh has Parkinson's disease, among other ailments.
Poston said the arrests were based on papers that had been known to authorities for weeks. He criticized the late afternoon arrests as ``Friday night specials.''
``What danger did that old man pose to the community?'' Poston said, referring to the elder Marsh, who was taken to jail in his wheelchair.
So far, 339 corpses have been found on the property of the crematory. Only 109 have been identified.
County emergency management director David Ashburn said a small lake on the Marsh property has been almost completely drained and there has been no sign of additional bodies.