Colorado regulators have suspended the license of a Montrose funeral home that also hosts a connected business selling human body parts after investigating an incident where the funeral home was supposed to return cremated remains to a family but, instead of ashes, gave the family dry concrete mix.
The suspension order for Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors says the funeral home and crematory didn’t keep required cremation records for at least five years and also didn’t keep records documenting the final disposition of human remains for at least seven years.
In that time, the funeral home has been hit with nine complaints, according to state officials. The case numbers listed in the suspension order, which was issued Monday, date back to 2014.
In one complaint, a family said they had the supposed cremated remains of their loved one analyzed and discovered that they were, in fact, powder concrete mix.
In a separate complaint, a family said Sunset Mesa was initially unable to find the cremated remains of their loved one. When the family did receive cremains, the family said they weighed less than expected for their loved one’s height and weight and that they also found the remnants of a watch, rivets and a metal zipper in the cremains. The family said their loved one wasn’t wearing a watch or clothes with zippers or rivets when taken to the funeral home.
The state investigated five incidents in which bodies were cremated, “without the issuance of a disposition permit,” according to the suspension order. In another incident, a body was embalmed without the permission of next-of-kin, the order states.
In an email, Lee Rasizer, a spokesman for the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, said officials with the state’s Office of Funeral Home and Crematory Registration will conduct further proceedings to determine if additional discipline is needed.
An attorney for the funeral home did not immediately return a message for comment Tuesday. The website for Sunset Mesa was offline.
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Sunset Mesa’s suspension was first reported by the Reuters news agency.
Source:: The Denver Post – News