Former county employee accused of charging families to move bodies - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jason Miles

Former county employee accused of charging families to move bodies

"For us, it's a lot of money," says Donna Long.

Long admits she doesn't have much.  Confined to a wheelchair, she shares a small apartment with her son and daughter-in law.

"$125 is a lot of money to me," says Long.

That's how much money she handed over to Billy Davis last summer, shortly after her husband died.

"If we had made it to this June, it would have been 42 years," says Long.

Davis worked for the Memphis-Shelby County Health Department.  His job was to transport bodies from the Medical Examiner's office to the Shelby County's cemetery for the poor.  That was the final destination for Donna's husband.    

"I got a call from Mr. Davis says they were going to pick him up," recalls Long.  "But they needed 125 dollars," she adds.

"He should have done that free of charge," says Assistant District Attorney Bill Bright.
Bright heads up the District Attorney's White Collar Crime Unit.  They busted Davis after complaints were made to the county.  An indictment charges him with shaking down two families for more than $100 each.

"He basically solicited money from people he should not have solicited money from," says Bright. At this point, investigators believe Davis probably worked alone.  But it's possible other families were stiffed.  Donna Long is sure of it.

"And I know there's a lot of other people out there that he's done this to, cause he was so smooth about doing it," says Long.

She just hopes she can get her money back.   

If Billy Davis or anyone else charged you for burial transport, call the D.A.'s office at 545-3268.  Meantime, Davis resigned his job and is out on bond.

Click here to e-mail Jason Miles

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