Some things are still sacred, right?
Like, for instance, one would assume that a person entrusted with funeral preparations wouldn't pull gold crowns from the bodies or go through cremation remains looking for gold teeth to pawn, right?
“A Brighton man is accused of using his position as a contract embalmer in the Denver metro area to steal gold teeth from bodies and cremated remains and pawn them in Longmont and other cities,” according to Pierrette J. Shields of the Longmont Times-Call in Colorado.
Adrian David Kline, 43, has been indicted on eight counts “of providing false information to a pawn broker” and two counts “of providing false information to a secondhand dealer.”
Although he denies it, Longmont police believe Kline was removing the gold crowns prior to embalming and removing the dental gold post-cremation.
The police were contacted after one Longmont pawnbroker thought it was “creepy” and “weird” that the same person kept coming in to pawn dental gold. One of the pawnbrokers was curious enough to ask Kline where he kept getting all of this dental gold.
Kline, also the father of eight children, said that the teeth were normally “just thrown away,” so he was retrieving them and was selling them to raise money for “children in need,” the Longmont Times-Call reports.
And apparently, he had been at it for quite some time -- making decent money along the way.
“Police searched the store's records from July and found a photo of Kline's driver's license along with a baggie of 20 to 25 gold teeth,” Shields writes, “A search of his pawn history in the past three years revealed dozens of transactions worth thousands of dollars...”
Kline spoke with investigators and said the home was throwing away the items and that they were not being returned to the families or used otherwise, "but he knew the dental gold had value."
He said he waited for the box of items to be thrown away, retrieved it from the trash and "would then take the box home and sift through the remains, which consisted of screws, bone anchors, and other miscellaneous metal." He told investigators that the dental gold was difficult to recognize because it was covered in "black crud."
His wife told investigators that he bought a cleaning kit and gold testing kit and would meticulously clean the teeth for pawn. She said it did not yield much money, but it helped to pay the bills, according to reports. Kline said he was embarrassed at what he had to do to provide for his family, according to reports.
As mentioned in the above, Kline denies removing teeth directly from the bodies. But the funeral home owners told police that, after examining photos of the gold recycled, there was “no way that all of the gold in the photos had gone through the cremating process.”
Which begs the obvious questions: where did the gold come from and how did Kline get it?
(H/T: The Consumerist)
(Front-page photo source: Nj.com)