PHOENIX – A security guard at a hospital in Phoenix is facing charges for reportedly engaging in necrophilia with a 79-year-old female corpse in a freezer at the medical facility used to store deceased individuals, according to reports.
Randall Bird is accused of committing multiple crimes against a dead person while working security at Banner University Medical Center Phoenix. He was terminated from employment and subsequently arrested on Tuesday, azfamily.com reported.
Bird, 46, is charged with five criminal counts of engaging in sex acts with a corpse, a class 4 felony, according to the Phoenix Police Department.
Police said they received the initial call about the disturbing incident on Oct. 24. Officers arrived at the medical center near 7th Street and McDowell Road in response to “suspected misconduct involving a man,” Law&Crime reported.
According to law enforcement authorities, security guards at the hospital are responsible for shuttling dead bodies to the morgue and placing them inside a freezer. During the process, guards are not supposed to open the body bags at any time while placing them on shelves inside the freezer.
Security video showed the 79-year-old victim’s body arrived at the morgue on Oct. 22, when Bird was in charge of transporting her corpse, police said.
Two witnesses (hospital “team members”) arrived at the morgue but discovered the doors were locked from the inside and the interior freezer light was on, which was unusual, according to court documents.
The witnesses said the freezer door was slightly ajar and they saw Bird inside. Moreover, he was “sweating profusely” and “acting very nervous.” The security guard had also removed his duty belt, his zipper was open, and his uniform appeared “messy,” court documents revealed, according to azfamily.com.
Witnesses subsequently gained access to the morgue and watched Bird immediately try to cover the victim’s body.
Investigators handling the case said the victim’s body bag was unzipped, and she was facing down, while Bird’s belt was also on top of the gurney, where the victim’s body was located.
When interviewed by police, Bird repeated a claim he made when speaking to the witnesses. He said he had a medical episode, passed out, and grabbed the victim’s body as he fell. He said the body bag tore open, breaking the zipper in the process, according to court paperwork.
However, the witnesses disputed this claim by confirming the zipper on the body bag was not broken.
Detectives determined the deceased woman’s body showed signs of trauma and tested positive for Bird’s DNA – which was collected by police on Oct. 25.
“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,” a Banner Health spokesperson told Law&Crime. “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 everyone, at every stage of life, with compassion, dignity, and respect,” the hospital’s statement continued. “Out of respect for the family, we will not further comment at this time.”