By Yvonne Man
(WXIN) — Lawyers for a funeral home accused of swapping out human remains are denying the allegations. In the 10-page defendant’s answer, Alpha Funeral Services says claims made by their former funeral home director were made up.
According to court documents, David Eckert claimed he was pressured to swap out remains last summer after cadavers disappeared.
Eckert claims he was pressured to resign, and is asking for financial damages. The owner and operator of Alpha Funeral Service, Anthony Edwards, is named in the suit.
Edwards has close ties there as well as with Edwards Family Mortuaries, Lynhurst Neighborhood Funeral Home and Fountain Square Funeral Services, according to state records.
This is not the first time Fox 59 has investigated disturbing practices by employees who worked for Edwards. Last year, our cameras captured several men moving bodies from a rented van into the Grinsteiner Funeral Home. Instead of using gurneys, employees carried bodies with their hands, even on their shoulders.
Indiana’s Funeral Board President told Fox59 the practices are not illegal but described them as disgusting.
“So does that mean that those deceased are literally stacked in the back of the van?” asked Paul St. Pierre at the time of the investigation.
Court documents show three cadavers from Alpha Funeral Services were supposed to be sent to the Indiana University school of medicine as teaching tools — but when they went missing,.
“Edwards finally ordered Eckert to ‘Get this handled and taken care of.'”
It’s a statement Eckert understood “as an order to gather three separate containers of random remains, and to misrepresent or fake the identities of these remains.”
Alpha is now denying those allegations, calling them “frivolous, unreasonable, groundless…” They admit to Eckert telling Edwards the cadavers or cremated remains were nowhere to be found.
Alpha Funeral Services is now asking for money for all costs incurred by this lawsuit. Both parties refused to comment on the case Thursday night.