The Lake County coroner and his wife were arrested in Leadville on Thursday night after a body was discovered in their old funeral home. It was believed to have been there for a “number of months.”
Members of the Silverthorne Police Department and Lake County Sheriff’s Office took Coroner Shannon Lee Kent and his wife, Staci, into custody at 8:35 p.m. Thursday on suspicion of tampering with a deceased human body, according to a released from SPD.
Shannon Kent is also being investigated for violating bond conditions.
Before the arrests, police found a human body in a coffin at the funeral home previously owned by the Kents at 561 Blue River Parkway in Silverthorne on Tuesday, according to a release from the SPD.
The funeral home, formerly known as Bailey-Kent Funeral Homes, is now owned and operated by Colorado Funeral Homes.
The body was identified as that of 42-year-old Victor Akubuo of Southern California, who died in a single semi crash in Park County on July 30, the Park County Coroner’s Office said.
Officials said Akubuo’s family retained Bailey-Kent Funeral Homes in August and the Park County Coroner’s Office released the body to the funeral home. The office has now taken custody of the body and notified his family of the incident.
“This is a sad and disturbing case involving our community and difficult investigation for our officers,” SPD Chief John Minor said.
Shannon Kent was previously indicted by a grand jury for second-degree official misconduct for allegedly sending Staci to death scenes despite her not being a sworn deputy, the Leadville Herald Democrat reported.
Statements made during the grand jury hearing in August 2019 led to both Kents being indicted on first-degree perjury charges last December, the Leadville Herald Democrat reported.
The Kents made an initial appearance in Summit County Court Friday afternoon in which Judge Edward J. Casias set their bond to $10,000, according to the SPD release.