Crematory Operator's Mother Signed Death Certificates Illegally

The mother of Tri-State Crematory operator Ray Brent Marsh signed some death certificates illegally.

Clara Marsh, a high school teacher, lived in the family home near the crematory and was an executive in the crematory business.

Her signature appears on at least one Georgia death certificate as a funeral home director, although she has never been licensed as one.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported last month that Ray Marsh, Clara's husband, and daughter Rhames Marsh signed death certificates illegally between 1992 and 1995.

Ray Marsh turned the crematory over to his son, Ray Brent Marsh, in 1996.

The younger Marsh is jailed on 174 counts of theft by deception for allegedly hiding corpses he was paid to cremate. No one else has been charged with a crime in connection to the corpses found at Tri-State.

Death certificates are typically processed by the first person who takes custody of the body.

But it's against Georgia law for a person not licensed as a funeral director to accept and dispose of a dead human body without the direction or supervision of a funeral director.

There is no state provision to check whether funeral directors who sign death certificates are licensed.