CLEVELAND — Eric Wiley, 63, was a husband, a father, a grandfather and an honorable veteran of the United States Army.
When he died in 2010 of cardiac arrest, he left behind a loving family who expected him to have a final resting place in a veteran’s cemetery.
“We had a funeral, and then after that, the remains were supposed to go to a military slot. I signed papers for that,” said his widow, Dorothy, on Thursday.
Instead, Wiley’s cremated remains and those of two other people were discovered in a large commercial dumpster in Akron on Tuesday.
What all three had in common was Funeral Director Charles Taylor, who explained to FOX 8 News that they may have been in a Macedonia storage unit he was renting, along with someone else.
Taylor explained that he was locked out of the storage unit after payments had not been made.
The owner of the storage facility told FOX 8 on Wednesday that Taylor owed him $4,000, but would not answer questions about how the boxes of cremated remains ended up in an Akron dumpster.
That, however, was not where Dorothy Wiley expected her late husband’s remains to ever be found.
“We thought everything was taken care of. I mean, it was enough to lose him in the first place, but for someone to deliberately abuse him in such a way is very upsetting,” said Wiley.
Wiley said the funeral director knew how and where to get in touch with her late husband’s family. In fact, she said he even visited their house when they were making arrangements for the funeral.
“That’s the worst you can do is to dump, that’s garbage. We dump garbage all the time, but you don’t do human beings like that because we have feelings, we have emotions,” said Wiley.
Taylor re-claimed the remains on Tuesday at the urging of FOX 8 and has vowed to provide them a dignified final resting place.
Wiley says she doesn’t wish anyone harm, but after learning her late husband’s remains were found in a dumpster three years after she believed they were turned over to the veterans administration, she wonders if her husband was the only veteran whose remains were left in storage and believes somebody needs to be held accountable.