Inspector seizes remains from Niles funeral home, cites mishandi - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Inspector seizes remains from Niles funeral home, cites mishandling

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NILES, Ohio - Officials are investigating a Niles funeral home after an inspector says that cremated remains were being improperly managed.

An affidavit was filed with The Trumbull County Common Pleas Court, authorizing a search warrant to seize the cremated remains of 42 people from the Robert P. McDermott Memorial Home. The inspector said that the seized remains were being improperly held, with most in temporary containers, some in marble urns, and three in plastic bags.

Furthermore, the inspector said that identifiable materials for some of the remains not yet disposed of or delivered to families were not present, a violation of funeral home policy.

The inspector also said that items were seized from the home that may uncover evidence of theft.

The funeral home was sold to a local bank in a Sheriff's sale last week. The funeral director's license was revoked in July by the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors. That revocation is the subject of a pending court appeal.

During his hearing before the board, court records show McDermott admitted that he had not forwarded money from 50 clients into the proper contracts, money that would exceed $150,000.

A seller of funeral goods or services is required by the state to deliver the monies received as payment for a pre need funeral contract to the agent designated to hold those funds, like an insurance policy or receipt, within 30 days of the money being handed over.

McDermott has stated to the Board that he planned to make good on his promises to customers that trusted him with their cash.

Now the Board is assisting the Trumbull County Prosecutor's investigation into McDermott's business practices. Any potential victims or concerned customers are urged to contact Niles police at 330-652-9944 or the Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors at 614-466-4252.

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