Friday, June 26, 2009

Burying the dead without a license

Remember when that body was found in a casket in the shed of an abandoned funeral home? It turns out the owner was a crook, and he wasn't even a licensed funeral director.

As the family of the late Ada Young searches for answers, public records show that Willie B. Hardy, the funeral home administrator who left Young's body in a shed when his business changed locations this month, has a criminal history including felony theft.

Officials from the Texas Funeral Service Commission said Hardy has not had a state funeral director's license since 1998. His expired license's status was listed as “revoked,” but a commission official could not say why it was revoked.

Neighboring residents discovered Young's body in a casket June 19 and notified police. Hardy said Young's family had not paid him for a funeral or to dispose of the body, so he had kept it since 2006.

Records show multiple charges against Hardy dating to the early 1980s with three convictions — including one for felony theft in 1998. A conviction from the 1980s was for a misdemeanor hot check charge and in 1999 he was convicted on a misdemeanor count of driving with a suspended license.

Hardy on Friday declined to comment on his criminal history.

He said he had worked with several licensed funeral directors, and that in the decade that he was unlicensed, he never claimed to have one. However, a funeral service commission official said license holders cannot have others perform funeral services in their name.

(from the Express-News)

He kept the body since 2006. Revolting.

I feel for the family of the woman. They thought she had been laid to rest a long time ago, but instead she had been stored in a hot shed for three years. That's inexcusable. I'm just glad some others have stepped up to help the family for free.

[Rhonda] Pickeree and other members of Young's family have begun to make funeral and burial arrangements, but plan to wait for the [DNA] test results to set a date.

When that time comes, the Collins Funeral Home will provide a free chapel service for the abandoned body — whether or not it is Young's — and the Camero Crematory & Funeral Home will cremate the body, also for free.


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