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Arizona man accused of sexual misconduct with a corpse in hospital morgue

An Arizona man has been charged after an investigation sparked in October discovered he allegedly performed a sexual act on a corpse in a Phoenix hospital.

FOX 10 in Phoenix reported that 46-year-old Randall Scott Bird was arrested Nov. 28, and charged with five counts of crimes against a dead person, a class 4 felony in Arizona.

On Oct. 24, police responded to the Banner University Medical Center after receiving reports of possible crimes against a dead person.

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Bird was employed as a security guard at the hospital and one of his job responsibilities, investigators said in court documents, was participating in the intake process at the hospital morgue.

The nearly 15-minute intake process typically consists of taking custody of dead bodies transported to the morgue, verifying the identity and placing the body inside a large freezer until they are claimed by family members, court documents show. 

Investigators learned security officers are not allowed to open body bags, but are responsible for moving the bodies and placing them on freezer shelves.

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Banner University Medical Center

Bird’s alleged victim was identified as a 79-year-old woman who died of natural causes. The woman’s body was transported to the morgue at about 4:35 a.m. on Oct. 22, and Bird was left alone with the body.

Court documents reportedly show two security guards went to the morgue to conduct intake duties nearly an hour after Bird arrived there.

When the two security guards arrived, they reportedly noticed the main entrance into the morgue was locked from inside, which they noted as unusual. When they unlocked the door, the guards also noticed the freezer door was cracked open.

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police car lights

“Witnesses observed [Bird] inside the freezer,” the station noted from the court documents. “He was sweating profusely and was acting very nervous. They stated that [Bird] had removed his duty belt, which they observed on top of a gurney where a bagged deceased body was placed. [Bird’s] zipper on his uniform pants was wide open, and the rest of his uniform looked all messy.”

Investigators also learned the body bag was completely unzipped and the woman’s body was faced down, which witnesses say is never the case.

The witnesses also told investigators a portion of the victim’s body was exposed, and her hospital gown was rolled up.

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Morgue

“[Bird] started making statements about having a medical episode and fainting, and said he grabbed the victim’s body as he fell,” the court documents read. “He stated the body bag tore open, and the zipper broke. Witnesses stated neither the bag nor the zipper were broken. 

“Witnesses explained they were [concerned about] the irregularities, and they reported the incident to their supervisor,” court documents continued. “An internal investigation was initiated, and police were contacted.”

The victim’s body was transported to the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s office where evidence was collected and sent to a lab for analysis.

On Oct. 25, investigators interviewed Bird, and after being read his Miranda Rights, he said he had a medical episode in the morgue freezer and had no recollection of what happened.

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Detectives executed a search warrant on Bird, which included collecting DNA samples from him, and eventually he was allegedly connected to the crime through a DNA analysis.

After being charged, a Maricopa County judge set Bird’s bond at $10,000, and if he posts the bond, he will be subject to several restrictions, including a ban from returning to the morgue.

A preliminary hearing is set for Dec. 7.

Banner Health officials did not respond to inquiries from Fox News Digital on the matter, but they did respond to FOX 10, saying they are “saddened and appalled” by the alleged actions of “an individual.”

“Recently, Banner team members identified and reported concerning behavior of an employee in the hospital morgue. Banner initiated an internal investigation, filed a report with law enforcement and terminated the employee,” the statement to FOX 10 read. “Banner Health has and remains committed to high standards that require each of our team members to treat everyone, at every stage of life, with compassion, dignity, and respect. 

“We are grateful for the work of the Phoenix Police Department in the investigation and handling of this matter, and we will continue to cooperate with law enforcement. Out of respect for the family, we will not further comment at this time.”

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