A disturbing picture found on a mobile phone showing an embalmer laughing as he holds aloft a severed head was today at the centre of a police investigation in UK.
The image, which features a man named as David Amor smirking at the camera, was on a phone found in a ditch in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, by two young children over the weekend.
It is one of three images on the phone that show the decapitated body, believed to have been hit by a train.
The sickening shot is understood to have been taken as 26-year-old David Amor worked in a mortuary to preserve the body of the dead man until his funeral could take place.
Police yesterday launched an investigation into the shocking images.
Chief Inspector Olly Wright from Aylesbury Vale police, said: “The incident is being treated seriously and while we carry out our initial investigation we feel it would be inappropriate to speculate as to the circumstances in which this photo was taken.”
Officers were in the process of seizing the mobile phone so that they could examine the pictures further.
A spokesman added: “We are looking into this to establish whether any offence has taken place.”
The phone was found by a brother and sister, aged 12 and 10, who gave it to their father.
The father, in an attempt to identify the owner, removed the SIM card and put it in his own computer.
He said: “It’s like when you find a wallet, you look inside to see if there’s anything to say who it belongs to.
“However, after finding that, I don’t want to get in touch with this guy. It’s a total lack of respect for the dead.
“That was probably someone’s father, someone’s son and someone’s brother, it’s unbelievable to think they could do that to someone.”
The father-of-two, who asked not to be named, described how his children screamed and ran out of the room when the images appeared on his computer.
Also on the phone were lists of David Amor’s appointments and an electronic business card for his embalming business.
David Amor advertises his services at £50 ($80) for “straight cases”, and £60 ($930 for “PM” cases.
Embalming is the process by which bodies are preserved so they can be displayed at the funeral.
“At first I wasn’t sure if it was real, until I started clicking through the rest of them,” said the father.
“It’s really upset my daughter, she doesn’t want to talk about it or go near the phone, she’s really traumatized.”
David Amor states on a social networking site that his place of work is Amor Embalming.
He is understood to live with a cross-dresser, David Hill, in Aylesbury.
When questioned at his home, david Hill refused to comment about the pictures.
Wearing what looked like a blond wig and accompanied by another person who also looked like a man dressed as a woman, he shouted: “We don’t want to make a comment. No comment. Go away or we are calling the police.”
Neighbours last night described David Amor’s actions with the severed head as “vile”.
“It’s disgusting,” said one man. “They live here now and I hope it will be <<lived here>> soon.”
A spokesman for the British Institute of Embalmers, who have no record of David Amor, described his behavior as a “shocking” and said the relatives of the dead man would be “appalled”.
Members of the BIE abide by a strict code of ethics that included treating every body with respect, they added.
“If it was one of our members, they’d be on a disciplinary, and thrown out of the institute” said the spokesman.
“There’s no legal requirement to register as an embalmer, and once somebody has done some sort of training they can work as an embalmer.”