Funeral director charged after body found in hearse

GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) - A Gadsden funeral director is facing a felony charge after police found a woman's decomposing body in the back of a hearse.

Police said 76-year-old Harold Watson Sr. was charged Tuesday with abusing a corpse.

He's the owner of Watson and Sons Funeral Home in Gadsden.

Police said Edna Kathleen Woods died of natural causes in November 2007 at the age of 52.

Relatives said they wanted her remains cremated.

But police say the family never signed papers for a cremation or paid the funeral home.

So the owner allegedly put the body in the back of a hearse recently and parked it on a lot with other old vehicles.

Someone complained about a foul odor, leading officers to discover the decomposing remains.

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