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Charges filed in Tennessee against operator of Georgia crematorium


CLEVELAND, Tenn. (AP) _ The operator of a Georgia crematory where hundreds of bodies were found discarded last month was charged Monday in Tennessee with six felony counts of abuse of a corpse.

Ray Brent Marsh, operator of the Tri-State Crematory in Noble, Ga., was already in custody in Walker County, Ga., charged with 174 counts of theft by deception.

Investigators have recovered 339 bodies since Feb. 15 on the Marsh family's 16 acres behind the crematory. So far, 109 bodies have been identified.

County records show that at least 250 bodies sent to the crematory since 1998 were from Tennessee. Bradley County Sheriff Dan Gilley said Marsh traveled the 50 miles from Noble to Cleveland to pick up bodies for cremation under contract from Bradley County funeral homes.

Gilley said once Marsh took the bodies back to Georgia he mistreated and disposed of the bodies in violation of Tennessee law, ``and in a manner which is offensive to the sensibilities of ordinary people.''

Gilley said more charges are expected. He said he will go before the grand jury on Wednesday.
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