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)
- Studio Nienke Hoogvliet Designs Cremation Urn Using Plastic Derived From Wastewater - December 14, 2017
- ICCFA, Wilbert and Pierce Mortuary Colleges Partner to Offer Live Streaming Cremation Training - December 14, 2017
- American Funeral Director Honors ‘Funeral Director of the Year’ - December 14, 2017
You may be interested
Studio Nienke Hoogvliet Designs Cremation Urn Using Plastic Derived From WastewaterCDFuneralNews - 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 TrainingCDFuneralNews - 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’CDFuneralNews - December 14, 2017
WALL, N.J. — Danny Jefferson, location manager at Pierce Jefferson Funeral & Cremation Services in Kernersville, North Carolina, has been…