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Howard Ain, Troubleshooter: Florence Funeral Home Closes Doors Amid Investigation
CINCINNATI (Howard Ain) -- A local mortuary suddenly closes its doors on the heels of a Local 12 TroubleShooter investigation. Howard Ain shares some of the possible reasons for the unannounced closing.
33-year old Dwayne Luttrell was killed in a natural gas explosion at the family's Newport home in January. That was the second family tragedy in two months. Dwayne's brother Tommy died in November from colon cancer. Although his mother had Tommy's body cremated she still had not received the ashes when she had Dwayne's body cremated at the same funeral home... Integrity Mortuary Services in Florence.
Ida Neal: "The day of his funeral he had both of the urns there, Dwayne and Tommy. It was the first time I had seen them."
But there was a problem because Dwayne's urn didn't contain his birth and death dates. And Tommy's urn was the wrong color.
Neal: "I told them that they were wrong. He said he would correct them. He would come and get them. So, I waited all week. He never showed up."
In addition to the problem with the urns, Neal says there are still problems with the birth certificates. For instance, in Tommy's birth certificate it was filled out incorrectly. Mother Ida Neal's name was written incorrectly on the death certificate... twice.
Neal: "I called Frankfort to see would that make a big difference that being wrong and they said it would have to be resubmitted."
Neal says despite numerous calls, Integrity Mortuary still hasn't corrected the death certificate and that's created problems with Tommy's medical bills.
Neal: "I keep getting his bills and I call them and they just say sorry for your loss send us the death certificate and I don't blame them for keep sending me the bills-- wondering you know."
So, I called Integrity Mortuary Services and owner Mark Foster promised he would correct things and refund money owed. But just days later Integrity Mortuary Services suddenly closed down.
State officials tell me Integrity Mortuary Services was never properly licensed because Mark Foster is an apprentice. There was no licensed funeral director running things.
Now, to get a correct death certificate, Ida Neal must work with the Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics.
I'm told other people may have similar problems and they too are urged to contact Office of Vital Statistics in Frankfort.