Colorado to Close Pipkin Mortuary After Body Mix-Up

February 3, 2010
Advertisement

imageThe state has ordered a funeral home that mixed up the bodies of two women to close next week so regulators can investigate the incident.

Pipkin Mortuary mistakenly buried the remains of Imogene Jackson, 64, in a casket that should have held Evelyn Jackson.

The interred body was exhumed, and Pipkin held Imogene Jackson’s funeral Saturday.

Chris Lines, spokesman for the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, said the mortuary will be shut down as of Monday as the state investigates.

Advertisement

“We will want an accounting of everything that happened in this situation,” Line said.

Pipkin was already in violation of regulations calling for all funeral homes in the state to register by Jan. 1, Lines said. Funeral homes have had since November to submit their applications.

Pipkin officials brought in their registration application Monday morning.

The state won’t review the application until the investigation is complete.

Rosemary McCool, director of the agency’s Division of Registration, will then decide whether to grant registration with or without restrictions.

Joseph Mark Pipkin, the funeral home’s owner, didn’t return phone calls for comment. But he did apologize to both Jackson families in a written release.

“Pipkin Mortuary cannot begin to fully express our deep regret and sincere apologies to the families of Evelyn Jackson and Imogene Jackson for this most unfortunate incident,” he said in the release. “Although we make every effort to fulfill our commitment to the community, on this occasion human error resulted in a mistake.”

Pipkin said the mortuary is also performing an internal review.

Denver police have been investigating the incident, but their investigation won’t result in charges, said Denver police spokesman Lt. Matt Murray.

“It is kind of a civil matter unless we find some criminal action,” Murray said.

It is rare for a mortuary or crematorium to misplace a body, said John Reed, past president of the National Funeral Directors Association.

Until Jan. 1, Colorado was the only state in the nation that didn’t have regulatory oversight of funeral homes.

There always were some regulations, but there has been little enforcement since 1982 when the legislature let the existing licensing for funeral directors and funeral homes expire, said Steffani Blackstock, executive director of the Colorado Funeral Directors Association.

The lack of licensing made it possible for anyone to set up a mortuary, whether or not they had training in the field.

Most mortuaries have strong procedures to make sure the dead are properly identified, Blackstock said.

Article By: Tom McGhee: 303-954-1671 or tmcghee@denverpost.com

CDFuneralNews

CDFuneralNews

ConnectingDirectors.com is the leading online daily publication for funeral professionals with a reader base of over 45,000 of the most elite and forward-thinking professionals in the profession. With ConnectingDirectors.com we have created a global community through an online platform allowing funeral professionals to Stay Current. Stay Informed and Stay Elite.
CDFuneralNews
Advertisement

You may be interested

Studio Nienke Hoogvliet Designs Cremation Urn Using Plastic Derived From Wastewater
Cremation
161 views
Cremation
161 views

Studio Nienke Hoogvliet Designs Cremation Urn Using Plastic Derived From Wastewater

CDFuneralNews - December 14, 2017

Originally Published on Dezeen Studio Nienke Hoogvliet has harnessed a method of transforming wastewater into bioplastic, and used it to create a sustainable cremation…

ICCFA, Wilbert and Pierce Mortuary Colleges Partner to Offer Live Streaming Cremation Training
Funeral Industry Press Releases
79 views
Funeral Industry Press Releases
79 views

ICCFA, Wilbert and Pierce Mortuary Colleges Partner to Offer Live Streaming Cremation Training

CDFuneralNews - December 14, 2017

STERLING, VA  – The International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association has partnered with Wilbert and Pierce Mortuary Colleges to bring…

American Funeral Director Honors ‘Funeral Director of the Year’
Funeral Industry Press Releases
93 views
Funeral Industry Press Releases
93 views

American Funeral Director Honors ‘Funeral Director of the Year’

CDFuneralNews - December 14, 2017

WALL, N.J. — Danny Jefferson, location manager at Pierce Jefferson Funeral & Cremation Services in Kernersville, North Carolina, has been…

Comments