SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – The body of a woman who died in 2015 and was supposed to be cremated was found stored at a local funeral home earlier this month.
According to a news release from the Spartanburg County Coroner’s Office, they were notified that a stored human body was discovered on Feb. 8 at First Family funeral home, located at 930 Chesnee Highway.
South Carolina Department of LLR reportedly sent an investigator after a former employee of a funeral home said that a human body had been stored for an excessive period of time.
Coroner’s office investigators then met with the LLR investigator and discovered the unrecognizable body being stored in a room at the funeral home.
According to the release, the body was taken to the coroner’s office until the investigation could begin and the investigation revealed that the body was of Mary Alice Pitts Moore, 63, of Donalds, SC.
Moore reportedly passed away in March of 2015 in Anderson County from natural causes.
Spartanburg Coroner Rusty Clevenger said it took his office two weeks to make an ID because “conventional means were not possible.”
Clevenger said he met with Moore’s surviving family members Friday morning in Saluda, and said they are “upset at the revelation since her final disposition was to be cremated in 2015.”
According to family members, First Family also operates a funeral home in Greenwood and the consult happened in Greenwood.
Clevenger said he would be exploring legal means to have the family’s wishes carried out for Moore.
He said SLED officials, as well as the State Attorney General, have been contacted about this case.
According to the coroner, the body was found with scent balms around it to mask the smell and the former employee, who reportedly found the body, said it was not refrigerated.
Clevenger said the body, which was found in a closed room on a board with just a cloth over it, was embalmed.
He said the former employee told the coroner that she asked other employees about the body, and they repeatedly told her, “don’t worry about it.”
The employee reportedly found out that the body had been moved to a different location within the funeral home shortly after.
Clevenger said this is an open investigation and said no charges have been filed at this time.
Lawrence Meadows, the owner and funeral director of the funeral home, was licensed by LLR as a funeral director. His license was revoked in 2015 after a board investigation into Meadows’ forging signatures on insurance documents, according to an order by the South Carolina State Board of Funeral Service.
According to First Family Funeral’s Facebook page, Richard Cummings is a co-owner of the business.
LLR records show no board actions against First Family Funeral. Darryl Jerome Mattison is a licensed funeral director and embalmer for the funeral home, according to online records.
7News reached out First Family Funeral by phone, they stated they had no comment.
7News requested a copy of the complaint submitted to LLR regarding the investigation, to which they stated couldn’t be released.