AKRON, Ohio – Inside a large commercial dumpster along Akron-Peninsula Road, Bob Skaggs of Akron, made an alarming discovery.
The boxed, cremated remains of Eric Wiley, 63, who died of a cardiac arrest in 2010 were discarded in the dumpster. His cremation certificate still attached to the box.
Returning to the same dumpster early Wednesday Skagg’s friend, Paul King, found the remains of two more people.
The cremated remains of David Vincent, 66, who died in 2008, and the cremated remains of Rowena Montgomery, 90, who died in January of 2010.
“I pulled them out because I couldn’t see somebody’s remains in a dumpster, and get burried in a massive landfill. I mean, I know that’s where it’s going to go,” said King.
Along with the remains were funeral home flags, documents, and a Funeral Director’s certificate for Charles Taylor Junior, a Twinsburg Funeral Director.
Taylor was also listed as the funeral director on documents attached to all of the remains.
Contacted by telephone, Taylor told Fox 8 News that the items including the remains, may have been stored at a Macedonia storage facility he rented along with another person.
Taylor explained that there are times when family members cannot be located or refuse to take remains home.
“We wait till we get enough of them, then get a casket, and put them in the ground,” explained Taylor saying, “I try to do the right thing. I worked too hard to get my certificate.”
Taylor said he had no idea the remains were thrown into a dumpster.
“I was renting the storage unit with someone else. I was giving this guy the money to pay for the storage unit, and I guess he went south with the money,” explained Taylor, who said he had been locked out of his storage unit by its owner, Bob Zimmerman.
“I was renting a space from him and I lost the space and he took some stuff, whatever was in there, and he got rid of it,” said Taylor.
Fox 8 found Zimmerman at his office on the same property in Akron as the dumpster where the remains were found.
When asked if Taylor was a client, Zimmerman said the funeral director owed him $4,000.
When asked if he could explain how the cremated remains of three people ended up in the dumpster Zimmerman said, “I don’t have to answer your questions, ask Charles.”
“Well you know I have no control when Mr. Zimmerman locked me out of the place I couldn’t get in there to get what I had in there,” Taylor told Fox 8.
Taylor said there are no regulations for how he is to care for unclaimed remains, and agreed they deserved to be handled in a more dignified manner.
At the request of Fox 8 he picked the remains up on Wednesday, and agreed to try again to find relatives who might want to claim them.
“Those were people. They were human beings,” said Skaggs’ mother, Carol. “The one woman was 90 years old. She walked the earth for 90 years, and winds up in a dumpster? That’s not right.”
Fox 8 News will be following up on the story to make certain the remains are given a more dignified burial.