Consumer News

AG Derek Schmidt: Court appoints receiver to take control of Topeka autopsy space, inventory biological samples and release identifiable samples to family members requesting their return

Release Date: Nov 26, 2019

TOPEKA – (November 26, 2019) – A Shawnee County judge has appointed a receiver to take control of the Topeka premises used by a Leawood man who is temporarily banned by court order from conducting autopsies in Kansas while a civil lawsuit and criminal charges are pending, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said today.

Shawnee County District Judge Mary E. Christopher today entered the order appointing Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Secretary Lee Norman as receiver and directing KDHE to take control of biological samples at the Topeka space used by Shawn Parcells, 37, of Leawood. The biological samples are principally tissues believed to be human remains stored by Parcells. 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.

Parcells and his affiliated companies are temporarily banned from doing business in Kansas under an order entered in March by now-retired Shawnee County District Judge Franklin Theis. That temporary restraining order prohibits Parcells and his affiliated companies from conducting autopsies, forensic pathology and tissue recovery in the State of Kansas until and upon resolution of the civil lawsuit filed by the attorney general. That lawsuit, filed on March 22, 2019, alleges 14 violations of the Kansas False Claims Act and violations of the Kansas Consumer Protection Act involving three consumers.

Parcells also faces criminal charges filed by the attorney general in Wabaunsee County District Court. Those charges allege three felony counts of theft and three misdemeanor counts of criminal desecration. A preliminary hearing is set for January 16, 2020, in Wabaunsee County. Charges are merely accusations; individuals are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Any person with reason to believe a family member’s biological samples may be in the possession of Parcells or his companies and who wants to request return of the samples should as soon as possible contact the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division at (800) 432-2310 or (785) 296-3751.

A copy of the Order for Receiver can be found at https://bit.ly/34oMTOY.

 

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