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Remains of 42 confiscated

Ashes in bags, containers at Niles funeral home

August 20, 2013

WARREN — Cremated remains of 42 customers — including ashes found in temporary containers, marble urns and plastic bags — were confiscated over the weekend at the Robert P....

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Aug-21-13 8:37 AM

I'm in Mortuary Science school and I just wanted to clear things up. Cremated remains are NEVER called ashes, ashes are what you get when you burn a cigarette. During one of my cremation courses we learned how one of the biggest downfalls with cremation is that the cremated remains get left at the Funeral Home. You can walk into any funeral home in America and I would guarantee that they have a closest filled with cremated remains. People do not know what to do with the remains so to often they leave their loved ones at the funeral home. For the Funeral Director to bury these remains its a HUGE out of pocket expensive that is governed by a set of state laws, that dictate and regulate if the funeral director can even burry these remains.

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Aug-21-13 8:14 AM

dolowiess: Yes I was referring to the printed edition of the Trib as offline.

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Aug-21-13 12:09 AM

Anyone who would take advantage of 50 individuals who prepaid their funeral expenses probably wouldn't shirk at mishandling cremated remains; Bobby, these people, like my mother, probably knew you from childhood. You're a businessman that serves a small town and you've betrayed a lot of trust.

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Aug-20-13 11:47 PM

Sounds like the federal government. Taking money given him for end if life and putting it in his budget to run his day to day business, and when end of life comes there's no money. That's why social security is broke. The federal govt should have the same rules for SS. My sympathy to all those screwed out of their end of life benefits. I hope justice is done to the perpetrators.

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Aug-20-13 6:55 PM

Seagull are you referring to the printed paper as offline? Im not sure what you mean. Thanks

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Aug-20-13 5:53 PM

Do a Google search of "Disposing of cremated remains in Ohio" to find the State of Ohio Statutes regarding disposition of cremated remains. Educate yourselves.

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Aug-20-13 5:49 PM

I've worked at a reputable funeral home for over 10 years. Some people do not pick up cremated remains. Cremation, for many, is simply the cheapest way out. Depending on how much business a funeral home does, there could be dozens stored at a funeral home at any one time. It is true that the cremated remains need to have ID and permits with the remains. Although an "authorizing agent" (family member or guardian; or rarely, the coroner) must sign a "cremation authorization" in Ohio, many of the deceased have relatives who are are destitute or feeble, and have no interest in accepting cremated remains or having them at home, nor do they want the responsibility or expense of disposing of them. Relatives may also live far away with no desire to pay for having the remains shipped to them, or paying for an urn. Some want us to keep "mom" until "dad" passes. NOTE: See the current State of Ohio Statutes for disposing of cremated remains at *******codes.

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Aug-20-13 5:00 PM

This all sounds very ghoulish, grieving families robbed & remains desecrated...

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Aug-20-13 4:55 PM

Jonesfan: If what you say is true, then this guy needs his licensing revoked permanently!! Also, proper identification and restitution should be in order.

As for people NOT picking up their loved ones, I personally know of 2 people that actually left their mother at the funeral home, although the bill was paid in full for the cremation and I personally offered a place for their mothers cremains to be buried... shes never been picked up or properly laid to rest.

As for homeless people being cremated, well the coroners office would have record of those and have issued a 'proper' record and way of identifying the deceased, ie. autopsy photos, other photos before the body was cremated. There is a legal naming convention standards/protocol assigned to deceased John/Jane Does. I am equally sure this naming protocol was used in Trumbull County as well!

Im NOT buying the homeless excuse at all!

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Aug-20-13 2:33 PM

The off-line Trib lists the 42 deceased individuals. 9 of the 42 had no identification. 3 of the 42 were in Ziploc bags. What is Mr. McDermott's excuses for how these remains were treated? There's no excuse for being a bad businessman and there certainly is no excuse at all for how the remains of these deceased individuals have been handled. I am quite sure he will get the respect he deserves in jail.

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Aug-20-13 2:27 PM

If a person passes away and is homeless, and has no money and family, does the state not pay for their cremation and burial? I know that that's how it's done in another state. My point is that, if the families refused to pick up the cremains, couldn't the funeral director have turned them over to the state for burial after a period of time?

More questions than answers, but this is a fascinating subject. I'd like to hear McDermott's side of the story. Until then, it's all speculation on our part--much like most things we post about on this website.

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Aug-20-13 1:53 PM

Funerals and cremations are usually paid for before the service is started, either by cash or insurance. Since cremation is the cheapest way to go, then that was probably the choice. And REMEMBER. Though most people loved the person that died. They are not always welcome back home, so they are abandoned. Cremains need a place with family, or a plot, and most people forget that part, and leave mama with the undertaker to dispose of.

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Aug-20-13 11:29 AM

It was suppose to say Patriot Guard Riders.

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Aug-20-13 11:27 AM

If any of the remains are of veterans the VA will provide them with a plot & headstone. In this area it would be the Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman. They would also get an escort by the FOR & fully military honours.

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Aug-20-13 11:02 AM

It is not at all unusual for people not to claim the remains. I know of a very prominent funeral home in the area that has a cupboard of remains. The guy is a crook but this really does happen.

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Aug-20-13 9:42 AM

It's the Warren/Niles any of you REALLY find it that unbelievable that 42 families in this area didn't go back and get their family members' ashes? These are probably the same people who can't even take care of their own kids.

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Aug-20-13 9:40 AM

This guy is a scumbag liar. I have an urn that he personally gave to us with what he said was my fathers remains in it. Tell me how did the police find an urn with my fathers remains in it in his possession??? This guy needs to go to prison!

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Aug-20-13 9:39 AM

I knew someone who owned a funeral home in a much smaller area. It is NOT AT ALL unbelievable that family members never showed up to retrieve the remains. They get the body cremated in order to have a place for the body to go but really do not want to pay, so they leave the ashes there and do not pick them up...therefore not having to pay more than the deposit they had to pay for the body to go there in the first place.

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Aug-20-13 7:49 AM

It is very hard to believe that family members never came to retrieve their loved one's remains. It is possible that a few might not have been picked up, due to health problems or other serious legal problems. But not all 42 of them, that's pretty far fetched to believe. Maybe he was holding the remains until he was paid for his services. That would seem logical to happen, just like any other type of business usually does. I just hope that those remains have some type of identification on each of them. Maybe this guy is related to Luppo.

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Aug-20-13 7:27 AM

You folks are all pretty quick to believe a known thief who is claiming these remains were never claimed by the families. I find it hard to believe that in 42 families, no one ever cared about collecting the remains of their loved ones. Trib needs to contact a couple of legitimate funeral homes in the area and ask how many sets of remains they have sitting around in baggies. If they all have dozens, maybe then I'll buy that story...

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Aug-20-13 6:18 AM

So what is the proper procedure to be done with cremains that have not been claimed by the family? Also, why were the deceased cremated, on whose orders? I have to assume, maybe wrongly, that the families contacted the funeral home, asked for their loved one to be cremated, then had a change of heart when they got the bill, leaving McDermott holding the bag. What is his legal obligation at that point? He has already incurred the unreimbursed expense of a cremation, is he supposed to pay for a burial plot also? That seems grossly unfair. Just asking.

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Aug-20-13 4:28 AM

LOL What a freakin joke. What were they supposed to do with the remains, the people didn't claim them. Well I guess the next guy wont make the same mistake an will dump them somewhere next time. Now what are they gonna sit in the police evidence room for 20 yrs (sounds so much better) and taxpayers gotta pay to store an bury them....Yeah ok whatever!

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