Funeral Home Abuse of Deceased Veterans
A Virginia funeral home responsible for the caring and handling of deceased veterans before they are buried at the Arlington National Cemetery is being accused of funeral home abuse by leaving the corpses lying around, unattended and unrefrigerated on garages, hallways, makeshift gurneys and even cardboard boxes, the Associated Press reports. A former embalmer, Steven Napper, who worked for nine months at this Service Corporation Inc. (SCI) funeral home apparently blew the whistle.
Napper told authorities that National Funeral Home in Falls Church, Virginia, had as many as 200 corpses not properly cared for during the time he worked there. The Virginia Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers is reportedly investigating these allegations based on the documentations received from Napper, three other employees and a grieving son, who saw bodies overflowing out of a lukewarm cooler at this funeral home and extremely unsanitary conditions including feces and urine in the room the bodies were stored.
The funeral home has denied any wrongdoing saying that their company treats all human remains "with the utmost dignity and respect at all times." However, one of Napper's photos shows coffins stacked on a rack in an unrefrigerated garage. Another photo shows a body wrapped in a white sheet on top of a cardboard box. This is not the first allegation of funeral home negligence or cemetery abuse against SCI. In 2003, the company reached a $100 million settlement with hundreds of families over allegations involving two cemeteries in Florida. Families accused them of digging up graves and burying people in the wrong lots.