© 2024
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Decomposing bodies, unidentified remains found at Johnstown funeral home

Wikimedia Commons/Diego Grez

Unidentified containers of cremated remains and decomposing bodies were found in a Johnstown, New York funeral home after police executed a search warrant Friday.

Officials say the search at the Ehle-Barnett Funeral Home at 15 North William Street was conducted following a complaint earlier in the week.

After multiple attempts by police to contact the funeral home’s director, Brian Barnett, the director reportedly contacted authorities and said remains were still at the facility, and that no services had been performed in weeks.

An investigation found that Barnett’s license to practice as a funeral home director was suspended in November, and that the business was not a licensed funeral home, thereby not allowed to handle or store any deceased persons.

Police say remains of three individuals were found in advanced states of decomposition on the property. More than a dozen containers of cremated remains were also located, some of which were open with no visible identification. An effort is underway to identify the remains and to notify families.

Officials say families who have had services with the funeral home and have not received the remains of their loved ones can contact the Johnstown Police Department or Fulton County Coroner’s Office.

Charges were pending as an investigation continues.

Lucas Willard is a news reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011. He produces and hosts The Best of Our Knowledge and WAMC Listening Party.