- Cheryl Runner Kittle has pleaded guilty to embezzling over $35,000 from pre-need contracts held by an Elkins, WV funeral home. She’s agreed to restitution, but further sentencing awaits.
- The Suburban Journals in Town and Country, MO has a nice piece talking about the effects of weather on funerals. Here in Central Ohio, we won’t run in a Level 3 Snow Emergency, and usually discourage running in Level 2. During the snowstorm 2 weeks ago, something like 15 funerals were canceled due to the weather.
- A 32-year-old soldier based in Colorado has been charged with charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle and driving left of center out of a crash involving a funeral procession in Ash, NC. David Deming had just graduated from sniper school at Fort Bragg and was driving home to Colorado when, as he was passing a funeral procession, he looked down to pick up a soft drink and swerved left of center. His truck struck two limousines and another vehicle, killing 9-year-old Cheyenne Thomas and injuring 13 others.
- Mourners in Gastonia, NC were shocked to see two cars staged for a funeral procession erupt in flames, just before the procession departed. One car belonged to the officiating pastor, but police think the fires were covering up evidence of theft from both cars. A man was seen running from the scene and getting into a car driven by a woman, but police have no further information.
- A Gwinnett County, GA funeral home is pursuing civil charges against someone who opened a functioning crematory retort, recorded over 30 seconds of video of the burning body, and posted the video to YouTube. Police say there’s no statute against posting the video, but I suspect the people recording the video were trespassing in the funeral home when they entered the crematory room. Such areas are typically marked as restricted areas, or at least located out of the main public areas, making it unlikely someone just “happened” to walk in to the room. For that matter, many newer retorts use automated doors of some sort, making it difficult to just throw the door open.
See you next week.