20 Years Ago Today: Tri-State Crematory Scandal
WALKER COUNTY, Ga. — On the afternoon of February 15, 2002, the Walker County Sheriff’s Department was called to Tri-State Cemetery in Noble, Georgia.
What they found was shocking.
“Throughout the next six weeks, approximately 339 bodies were located and discovered there on the property of the Tri-State Crematory,” said Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson.
The bodies found on the property were left uncremated and, and, in some cases, unidentified.
To this day, it’s not entirely clear why Ray Brent Marsh, the operator of the facility, did not cremate the remains.
“That question has never been answered. The Tri-State crematory was an operation, a business that had been in the business of cremating remains, primarily for funeral homes in the southeastern United States — Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama — for a number of years.
The bodies recovered twenty years ago now reside at the Tennessee-Georgia Memorial Park Cemetery.
Ray Brent Marsh was sentenced to twelve years in prison for the neglect of the bodies, a sentence which he has since served and been released from.
Marsh has reentered the community and is said to be doing well.
“I’ve seen him; spoken to him, and I think he has done his time and is ready to get on with his life and do what he wishes to do in our community.”