Arizona Security Guard Accused of Sexual Act with 79-Year-Old Corpse in Hospital Morgue

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Randall Bird
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A now-former Banner Health security guard is accused of having sex with a woman's corpse last month at a Phoenix hospital. Officials confirmed that 46-year-old Randall Bird was arrested on Tuesday.

As reported by AZ Family, On Oct. 24, Phoenix police were called to Banner University Medical Center Phoenix to investigate the crimes. Investigators say Bird worked as a security guard for the hospital.

According to police, security guards are in charge of transporting dead bodies to the morgue and placing them inside a freezer. However, guards aren't supposed to open the body bags; they only place them on the freezer shelves.

Bird Seen 'Sweating Profusely,' Had His Zipper Open with Corpse Facing Down

Video surveillance showed the 79-year-old victim's body arrived at the morgue on Oct. 22, when Bird was in charge of transporting her to the morgue, police said. Court documents say two witnesses arrived at the morgue but found the doors locked from the inside, which was unusual. A light could be seen on the inside of the freezer, and the freezer door was cracked open.

The two witnesses reportedly saw Bird inside the freezer, where he was "sweating profusely" and "acting very nervous." Court paperwork states Bird had removed his duty belt, his zipper was open, and his uniform looked "messy." Investigators say the victim's body bag was unzipped, and she was facing down. Bird's belt was also on top of the gurney, where the victim's body was.

Bird Claimed He Had A Medical Episode and Fainted on Top of the Body, Police Found his DNA on the Body

Authorities say as the witnesses walked into the morgue, Bird immediately tried covering the victim's body. He then claimed that he had a medical episode and fainted, and grabbed the victim's body as he fell, court paperwork states. Bird told the witnesses the body bag then tore open, and the zipper broke, police said. However, the witnesses disputed this claim to police, saying the bag and zipper weren't broken. The two then reported Bird to their supervisor.

On Oct. 25, police interviewed Bird, who claimed he had a medical episode and couldn't remember what happened, investigators said. Crime scene investigators collected evidence from the victim and Bird, and his DNA was found on the victim.

He was taken into custody on Tuesday and booked on five counts of crimes against a dead person, a class 4 felony. In Arizona, those convicted of a class 4 felony often face between one to four years in prison for a first felony offense.

Hospital Releases Statement

Officials confirmed Bird no longer works at the hospital. Banner Health released a statement to Arizona's Family regarding Bird's arrest:

We are saddened and appalled by the alleged actions of an individual at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix that resulted in his arrest on November 28, 2023.

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.

Banner Health has and remains committed to high standards that require each of our team members to treat every​one, 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.

This article was first published on November 30, 2023