Following an inquiry that began in October, it was found that an Arizona man had reportedly engaged in sexual activity with a corpse in a Phoenix hospital. As a result, he was prosecuted.
Randall Scott Bird, 46, was reportedly detained on November 28 and charged with five counts of crimes against a dead person, a class 4 felony in Arizona, according to FOX 10 in Phoenix.
Police were called to the Banner University Medical Centre on October 24 in response to allegations of potential crimes against the deceased.
According to investigators’ testimony in court documents, one of Bird’s duties as a hospital security guard was to assist with the admissions procedure at the hospital mortuary.
According to court records, the approximately 15-minute intake procedure usually entails accepting custody of deceased bodies that have been carried to the mortuary, confirming the identity, and putting the body inside a sizable freezer until it is claimed by family members.
Investigators discovered that security guards are in charge of transferring the dead and putting them on freezer shelves but are not permitted to unzip body bags.
The claimed victim of Bird was found to be a 79-year-old woman who passed away naturally. On October 22, at around 4:35 a.m., the woman’s body was taken to the mortuary, and Bird was left alone with it.
According to court filings, about an hour after Bird arrived at the mortuary, two security officers reportedly went there to perform intake responsibilities.
The two security officers apparently observed something peculiar when they arrived: the main mortuary entrance was shut from the inside. The guards discovered the freezer door was cracked open when they unlocked the door.
“Witnesses observed [Bird] inside the freezer,” the station noted from the court documents. “He was sweating profusely and was acting very nervous. They stated that [Bird] had removed his duty belt, which they observed on top of a gurney where a bagged deceased body was placed. [Bird’s] zipper on his uniform pants was wide open, and the rest of his uniform looked all messy.”
Investigators also discovered that the woman’s body was face down, which is not how witnesses often describe a body bag that has been fully unzipped.
The victim’s medical gown was rolled up, and witnesses informed authorities that part of her torso was visible.
“[Bird] started making statements about having a medical episode and fainting, and said he grabbed the victim’s body as he fell,” the court documents read. “He stated the body bag tore open, and the zipper broke. Witnesses stated neither the bag nor the zipper was broken.
“Witnesses explained they were [concerned about] the irregularities, and they reported the incident to their supervisor,” court documents continued. “An internal investigation was initiated, and police were contacted.”
After being brought to the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s office, the victim’s body was examined, and evidence was gathered and transferred to a lab for examination.
After being informed of his Miranda rights, Bird told investigators during an interview on 25 October that he had a medical episode in the mortuary freezer and didn’t remember anything.
After obtaining a search warrant and taking samples of Bird’s DNA, detectives were able to link him to the crime, according to a DNA study.
Following his indictment, a Maricopa County court placed Bird’s bond at $10,000. Should he pay the bond, he will be subject to other conditions, such as being prohibited from ever entering the mortuary again.
The first hearing is scheduled for December 7.
In response to questions about the situation from Fox News Digital, Banner Health representatives stated that they are “saddened and appalled” by the alleged conduct of “an individual.”
“Recently, Banner team members identified and reported concerning behavior of an employee in the hospital morgue. Banner initiated an internal investigation, filed a report with law enforcement and terminated the employee,” the statement to FOX 10 read. “Banner Health has and remains committed to high standards that require each of our team members to treat everyone, at every stage of life, with compassion, dignity, and respect.
“We are grateful for the work of the Phoenix Police Department in the investigation and handling of this matter, and we will continue to cooperate with law enforcement. Out of respect for the family, we will not further comment at this time.”