PANGUITCH, Utah — A man who was arrested when police discovered his mother’s body hidden in their home told authorities he had promised her a “green funeral”.
Pete Marker was sentenced to up to five years in prison, but that sentence was suspended in favor of 24 months probation, according to sentencing documents filed Friday.
Marker was arrested earlier this month after police were made aware of a letter he had written in which he states his mother died of natural causes on Christmas Day 2017 and that he’d buried her body in the hills of west Panguitch.
The letter indicated Marker had “promised his mother: Roma Bowman, that he would give her a green funeral,” an indictment states.
The indictment states police questioned Marker about the letter and he told them he found his mother deceased around 11 p.m. on December 25, several hours after she had gone to bed in the home they shared.
Marker told police he’d promised his mother a “green funeral” and said he went into the mountains to find a suitable location to bury her. Marker said there were elk hunters in the area when he began looking, so he didn’t dare attempt to bury his mother and instead hid her in his home.
Marker told police he was aware it’s illegal to bury someone in the hills and that he thought about notifying the authorities, but he ultimately decided not to report the death.
Marker told police he wrapped his mother’s body in clothing and bedding and then placed her in the coal storage area of the home’s basement, which had been unused for several years. He boarded the area back up afterward, and police went to that location and confirmed Bowman’s body was there before transporting her remains to a mortuary.
Marker faced one count of failure to report the finding of a dead human body and one count of abuse or desecration of a human body. The charge of failure to report was dismissed without prejudice, and he pleaded guilty to the third-degree felony charge of abuse or desecration of a body.
The sentence of up to five years in prison was suspended, and instead Marker will be on probation for 24 months. He is also ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation and comply with recommended treatment.