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Deal says part of Georgia's Tri-State Crematory land will remain untouched

Published: Nov. 22, 2005 at 5:53 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 24, 2005 at 12:46 AM EST
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(Noble, GA-AP) November 22, 2005 - Part of the property where 334 rotting corpses were found at a northwest Georgia crematory has been placed into a trust.

That ensures it will remain undeveloped.

Clara Marsh signed the agreement on Monday. She says she is glad to put the infamous case of the Tri-State Crematory behind her.

Her son, Ray Brent Marsh, was operating the Tri-State Crematory in February 2002 when 334 bodies meant for cremation were found dumped in woods, sheds and sometimes stacked on top of each other.

An $80 million settlement was reached in the case that required about one and a half acres of the former crematory property to remain in a natural state in perpetuity.

Dalton lawyer Robert Smalley represented the class of plaintiffs whose dead family members were taken to the crematory between 1988 and February 2002. He says the deal will make sure the land remains untouched. Clara Marsh will continue to be the owner of the property, but Smalley says she agrees nothing will be done with it.

The crematory building and all other structures associated with the business have since been torn down.

Nathan Bosic of the Georgia Land Trust says someone from the trust will visit the property at least once a year to make sure no changes take place.

Ray Brent Marsh, the crematory operator who dumped the bodies and passed off fake cremains to grieving loved ones, is serving a 12-year prison sentence. He pleaded guilty last year to 787 counts of theft, abuse of a corpse, burial service fraud and making false statements.

Posted 12:52pm by Bryce Mursch