Coroner accused of holding bodies hostage – In a grim story about counties where impoverished people struggle to pay for the burial of their deceased, one county coroner has them sign over the rights to the bodies of their loved ones, leaving them without a death certificate, then withholds the cremated remains until he’s paid $1,000. The Associated Press’ Sara Burnett reports that, in one such case, a bereaved widow said Adams County Coroner James Keller, who also works as a funeral director, told her: “if she didn’t pay, he’d bury the ashes in a cemetery and not reveal the location.” [AP]

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