FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -- KCTV5 News' investigation into allegations and fraud concerning a Topeka-based autopsy company now strings across the nation.
KCTV5 has heard from families on both coasts and across the nation who say Shawn Parcells took their money but never completed the work.
There are new questions about a Kansas man who drew national attention over his involvement in the case that led to riots in Ferguson, MO.
“The vast majority, above 90% have been very happy with our work. However, the chips fall and they are thankful because they have peace of mind,” said Parcells, the owner of National Autopsy Services.
KCTV5 first began investigating Parcells when families told us he now operates under a different name of Professor Lynn. Parcells admits that’s true but says Lynn is his legal middle name so he has that right and it’s difficult to pronounce his last name.
He eventually admitted he changed his name because of his past reputation.
“I think there was a part of me doing that. Yes,” Parcells admitted.
Lacey Langford is from Kansas City, KS. She is waiting for Parcells to refund her for an autopsy that was never completed.
“I’ve lost sleep, I’ve gotten physically ill over it. What happened to my mom? I don’t know that we will ever know,” Langford said.
Patty Evans near Denver wanted answers in her husband's death when he passed out and died suddenly in their bathroom.
“Very frustrated angry. I don’t even if an autopsy was done at this point,” Evans said.”
“We’re not even really worried about the money at this point. We’re really just want some closure as to what happened,” Andrew Asifo in Washington DC told our investigative unit. “It’s the most low-down thing you could possibly do.”
KCTV5 connected with a grieving family in Florida.
“He never returns my calls. He’ll lie to you, then you try to call him back and then he scolds you for trying to get an answer. It’s been 14 months,” Kathy Fenton said down in Florida.
Our investigative unit is now fielding calls from California and Virginia.
Most of our calls are from this area where families say they paid Parcells but still have now final autopsy report. Months keep rolling by tipping past a full calendar year.
Some families are hesitant to criticize Parcells publicly because their only hope for answer rests with him producing that final report.
Douglas County, Colorado, Coroner Jill Roman commented on the situation.
“Outrageous absolutely outrageous. These families are being held hostage,” Romann said.
Allegations of witness tampering
“I consider him somebody that should never have been allowed in this industry. I’ve been doing autopsies over 25 years. And I’ve never seen something like this in my life ever! And this person is still operating?” said a former employee who did not want to be publicly named because he claims he’s now a witness into multiple investigations where Parcells is the target.
He shared a text message from Shawn Parcells to him that appears to be witness tampering in the current KS Attorney General’s investigation of Parcells.
“Tell you what. If I know you can ignore the AG I will pay $1,000 weekly. But I have to know you won’t talk to them nor make up stories that I say I am a doctor,” Parcells texted the former employee.
Parcells' lawyer followed up by email with that former employee.
“I advised him nevertheless to settle your dispute amicably but not to bribe you,” attorney Eric Kjorlie wrote.
Parcells confirmed to our investigative unit he sent that text message. But insisted it was taken out of context and that he was only discussing how he owed that man money and planned to repay him.
Parcells is not a doctor and not a professor
All of the families KCTV5 spoke with tell us they thought they were dealing with a large corporation, and that the man they were communicating with was a doctor.
Parcells is not a doctor. He’s been accused of inflating his credentials and lying about his qualifications in the past.
In our interview he defended some of thing things he posts on twitter like how he almost became a neurosurgeon.
“I tell people all the time I almost became a neurosurgeon. That doesn’t mean I’m a doctor. That doesn’t mean that I was in medical school. I really did almost do that,” Parcells said.
We checked his current resume. He lists he’s currently enrolled at Eastern Virginia Medical School. That institution says they have no record of him.
We checked with Capella University concerning his doctorate in public health. Parcells eventually told KCTV5 that he never completed the program. He then became short with our investigative team and accused us of making assumptions.
“Just because it is listed doesn’t mean I earned a degree there ... so please don’t assume that is what it means,” Parcells wrote.
He calls himself “Professor Lynn” but he’s not currently teaching at any university. The places where he did teach tell us the correct title would be “adjunct lecturer.”
Parcells says the students called him professor and he eventually showed us a name tag from Johnson County Community College which does says “adjunct professor.” They confirm through email the correct title would still be “adjunct lecturer.”
Wichita State University says there was intent to hire Parcells but he never actually taught. They do not consider him a former professor. Parcells argues he has an email indicating he was going to be hired and a student did shadow him for a month.
Parcells most recently worked at Rockhurst University for two semesters. Before that, he spent eight months and Johnson County Community College.
Parcells says due the length of time he spent in academia he has the right to be called professor.
Who watches out for these families?
Our investigative unit has spent two weeks to trying to figure out who watches out for these grieving families.
Langford tried to file a police report but was turned away being told this was a civil matter.
We reached out to the Kansas Attorney General about the current investigation into Shawn Parcells.
They sent us this statement:
“The Attorney General’s office does not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation.”
We also contacted the Kansas Department of Health. Parcells isn’t even on their radar.
This lab name/person is not on any clinical laboratory certification list, and therefore does not come under lab oversight for KDHE.
The Kansas Board of Mortuary Arts told us:
We do not have oversight over autopsies.
Finally, there is the Kansas Board of Healing Arts. The directed us to this state statue.
... an autopsy may be performed upon the body of a deceased person by a physician or surgeon when so authorized.
When we pushed for an explanation as to how Parcells is able to perform autopsies, we were told not everyone one in your doctor’s office is a doctor.
But, Parcells admitted to our investigative team he works on bodies when no physician is present.
Medical examiners have speculated prosecutors have been reluctant to charge Parcells with any crime because he’s been involved in some of their cases.
Parcells told KCTV5 he has assisted in more than 2,000 autopsy cases.