A former security guard at a Phoenix hospital was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of sexually assaulting the body of a deceased woman, according to CBS 5.
Randall Byrd, 46, allegedly assaulted the body of a 79-year-old woman in the Banner University Medical Center morgue in October, CBS 5 report. Guards are tasked with transporting bodies to morgues, but are not allowed to open body bags.
According to court documents reported by CBS 5, Byrd was allegedly captured with his belt unbuckled and his zipper down. Witnesses also claimed Byrd was “sweating profusely” and “appeared very nervous.” The victim’s body bag was found with the zipper unzipped, and Byrd’s belt was draped over the stretcher carrying the body, the paper said. (Related: Murderer sexually abused over 100 corpses in hospital for more than 15 years before being arrested: Report)
— New York Post (@nypost) November 30, 2023
Byrd allegedly tried to explain the situation by claiming he had passed out due to a medical episode and had inadvertently opened the body bag. However, his explanation is inconsistent with the evidence, CBS 5 noted. Forensic evidence collected from the scene confirmed the victim’s DNA, leading to Byrd’s arrest, the paper added.
He faces multiple charges, including several crimes against a deceased person and a fourth-degree felony, CBS 5 reports. For this type of felony, a first offense could result in a prison term of one year to four years.
“We are saddened and appalled by the actions of an individual at Banner University Medical Center Phoenix that led to his arrest on November 28, 2023. Recently, members of the Banner team announced that they According to CBS 5, Banner Health initiated an internal investigation, filed a report with law enforcement, and terminated the employee. said in a statement.
According to CBS 5, “Banner Health has and will continue to hold ourselves to high standards that require each of our team members to treat all people with compassion, dignity and respect at every stage of life.” “We have persevered,” the statement continued. We appreciate the work of the Phoenix Police Department in investigating and handling this matter, and we look forward to continuing to work with law enforcement.”