MODESTO – Sheriff’s deputies have raided a funeral home in the central California town of Modesto, and have removed 17 bodies after family members of the deceased complained that it was taking too long for the bodies to be cremated.
Authorities removed the bodies from McGuire Cremation & Funeral Service and took them to the County Coroner’s office. The families involved are now being forced to make other arrangements for the bodies.
It was unclear exactly how long the bodies had remained at the funeral home.
But the County had reportedly stopped issuing permits to the home, which means that no bodies could legally be cremated or buried.
After waiting for many days for the cremation of his mother by the funeral home, Jeremy Berntzem arranged for the cremation to take place at another home in the area, but not until he’d been through the emotional trauma connected with McGuire Service’s delays.
And Berntzem says when he asked for a refund from McGuire’s, the check they issued to him bounced.
The Modesto Bee reports that according to Sgt. Anthony Bejaran, a sheriff’s spokesman, there has been an investigation into potential criminal and civil violations at McGuire’s Service for months.
Bejaran would not say what criminal charges could come of the investigation.