Former Funeral Director Charged For Rotting Bodies
COLUMBIA, Mo.: A former Missouri funeral home director accused of keeping rotting bodies in a basement faces three felony counts of unlawful merchandising practices.
The indictment that Boone County grand jurors returned Friday stems from allegations that Harold Warren Sr. knowingly gave families cremated remains that were not the ashes of their loved ones. Prosecutors allege the crimes occurred between February and July 2008.
Warren’s attorney, Dan Viets, told the Columbia Daily Tribune that his client will respond to the charges in court.
“It’s not a surprise to us,” Viets said. “We’ve been working with (prosecutors) and, of course, trying to persuade them not to” file charges, he added. “But they chose to pursue it, so we’ll deal with it.”
The 77-year-old Warren and his son, Harold Warren Jr., operated Warren Funeral Chapel Inc., which had funeral homes in Fulton and Columbia.
State officials ordered the business to close in July 2008 after a woman’s body was found stored in an electrical room for 10 months without being embalmed or refrigerated. Investigators later found several more decaying bodies.
In July 2009, the Missouri Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors revoked the men’s licenses to practice as funeral directors and embalmers. The elder Warren continues to work at the Columbia funeral home. Its new owner, Reid Millard, hired Warren as a “funeral assistant” to perform physical labor.
One of the mishandled cases was the funeral of Tasha Loggins, a 25-year-old who died May 23, 2008. Her mother, Vanae Scott, paid Warren in full for the funeral, and a couple of weeks later he gave her an urn containing ashes he claimed to be those of her daughter.
She kept the ashes in a cherished place in her home until her daughter’s body was among several found unrefrigerated in the basement of the Warren chapel.
“It was devastating,” Scott recalled Friday. “For three months I had someone else’s ashes.”
Latest posts by CDFuneralNews (see all)
- Download Our FREE Memorial Day Video - May 24, 2018
- FrontRunner Unveils its New ‘Final Resting Place’, GPS Enabled App - May 24, 2018
- StoneMor Partners Names Inman Shipping Worldwide as Preferred Shipping Provider - May 22, 2018
You may be interested
Download Our FREE Memorial Day VideoCDFuneralNews - May 24, 2018
Finding the right Memorial Day content to express your gratitude and honoring those who have fallen for our country can…
FrontRunner Unveils its New ‘Final Resting Place’, GPS Enabled AppCDFuneralNews - May 24, 2018
FrontRunner today announced the unveiling of the new GPS enabled App, Final Resting Place, which allows funeral homes, cemeteries and…
Learn How Your Funeral Home Can Offer Natural Burials in The Green Burial GuidebookJustin Crowe - May 23, 2018
The Green Burial Guidebook is a new book by Elizabeth Fournier explaining the methods and ideas behind having an affordable, environmentally…