Employee at Utah mortuary received $1,000 for gold crowns believed to be taken from bodies

Posted at 9:43 PM, Feb 15, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY -- We're learning more about the gold that investigators believe workers stole from bodies at a Salt Lake City mortuary at the center of criminal charges filed this week.

Workers have been under investigation since November, and the disturbing details keep surfacing.

Chris Wright, Vice President of Cascade Refining INC, held a transaction receipt with a date stamp from June 7, 2017.

“This is our purchase invoice #63200,” Wright said.

The transaction was a total of $1,000, but now it’s under investigation by the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office.

Records show Michael Jones walked into Cascade Refining in West Valley City and approached the counter with a baggie of gold crowns.

While Wright says it's not unusual for pawn shops to see dental gold: “The average person has one or two gold crowns and there was more than that in there. There's enough here for probably four or five people, even more."

A picture taken the day of the sale shows 23 gold crowns. Jones walked away with a $1,000 - that's roughly $44 per crown.

Investigators with the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office believe each of these gold crowns were stolen from bodies at Carver Mortuary.

Criminal charges filed this week show Michael Jones, an employee at the mortuary, is facing more than 20 misdemeanors, one of those being "removal of items from human remains." Leading detectives to Cascade Refining.

Documents say the receipt "…has Jones' fingerprint on it and is signed by Michael Jones."

“To see that happen, it just brings to mind hassle and headache not only for us but those involved,” Wright said.

Thanks to this picture and paperwork from Cascade Refining, the DA's office was able to charge Jones.

“It's disturbing,” Wright said. "A lack of moral compunction from someone who is doing this continuously. It’s a step back for your faith in humanity."

Jones and three other employees are facing several misdemeanor charges.

As for Carver Mortuary, The Department of Professional Licensing closed it, but it's back open after they paid a $10,000 fine. They will now be under probation for five years.