Investigation underway into fake funeral directors
TOLEDO, Ohio (WNWO) -- Toledo Police are investigating two men claiming to be funeral directors after finding a body in a building behind a church.
Toledo Police got word of this body being stored improperly from the Lucas County Coroner's Office.
The transport service went to deliver the deceased man be processed for a funeral on December 5th, to the building in an alley behind the Rock Church off Airport Highway and Brookview Drive. That's when they realized something was off.
"When that transport arrived at the location, it just didn't seem right to them and they made the delivery and contacted the Lucas County Coroner's Office and expressed their concern that it just didn't seem appropriate," said Lt. Kevan Toney, Toledo Police Department.
The coroner's office called TPD and they sent a detective to investigate. According to the police report, the detective noticed a faint odor of decomposition and obtained a search warrant which led to the discovery.
"It does appear that there was someone who was serving as a funeral director and was going to embalm the body and then provide the funeral service, but the conditions were not appropriate or professional," said Toney.
The two men were not licensed by the state.
A process that Sheryl Riggs, the general manager of Dale-Riggs Funeral Home says is a regulated.
"Naturally it has to be spotless and disinfected and the proper instruments table and so on. There are things that have to be there, water, air exchange for the practitioners safety," said Riggs.
Riggs said the state reinspects the funeral homes twice a year unannounced.
"People are suspicious of funeral homes, afraid of funeral homes, so it's important that we maintain a certain standard as an industry, so this is very sad I'm disappointed and saddened by the bad and negative news," said Riggs.
TPD is still investigating and advises everyone to double check the funeral home is licensed before using their service.
"I always tell people go out and see the funeral home, meet the director because the director sets the tone, the ethical and moral tone in that funeral home," said Riggs.
Charges have not been filed yet. Police say there are multiple jurisdictions detectives have to navigate before they can file charges.