Judge orders KDHE to take over Topeka autopsy business
A judge has ordered the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to take control of a Topeka autopsy business.
A Shawnee County District Court judge ruled KDHE will take control of biological samples at the Topeka space used by 37-year-old Shawn Parcells.
Parcells, of Leawood, is charged with three felony theft and three misdemeanor counts of criminal desecration. He turned himself into the Shawnee Co. Sheriff's Office in March on a warrant out of Wabaunsee Co.
A judge prohibited Parcells and his companies, including one based in Topeka, from conducting autopsies, forensic pathology and tissue recovery in Kansas.
A civil suit filed by Attorney General Derek Schmidt alleges 14 violations of the Kansas False Claims Act and violations of the Kansas Consumer Protection Act involving three consumers. The petition alleges Parcells had a contract with Wabaunsee County to conduct coroner-ordered autopsies and did not complete them in accordance with Kansas law. Additionally, the petition alleges he advertised his services for private autopsies on his website, took payments from consumers but didn't perform the services.
“Under the order, the KDHE, with the assistance of the Office of Attorney General, will conduct a complete inventory of biological samples on the premises, safely take and store the samples, and release identified samples to appropriate family members who request them. With judicial approval, unclaimed or unidentified samples will be appropriately destroyed,” said the AG’s office in a news release.
A preliminary hearing is set for January 16, 2020, in Wabaunsee County.