Indianapolis family concerned about loved one’s remains after investigation into funeral home

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INDIANAPOLIS – An Indianapolis woman is concerned she never got her loved one back from an area funeral home that has been at the center of a Fox59 investigation.

Janene Jones said she got a second call from Grinsteiner Funeral Home on Monday night about her cousin’s ashes, but she thought she was already wearing them around her neck.

“The thought of anyone living this it’s a twisted movie, a nightmare that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy,” said Jones, who just lost her cousin, Arvil Epley.

“That guy would not have called me yesterday and said, ‘Come and pick up these remains’ if there’s not a box there so there’s someone sitting there. Is that him, or is this him?” Jones asked while clutching the pendant she’s worn around her neck since the weekend.

After a Fox59 report on Friday, Jones decided to move services for her cousin from Grinsteiner Funeral Home to another business. She claims that after hours of unanswered phone calls, she was able to pick up his ashes on Friday before the services on Saturday.

On January 16, Jones claims she had gotten the first call about his ashes being ready for pick-up.

Fox59’s attempts to reach out to the owner of Grinsteiner, Anthony Edwards, have been unsuccessful. Edwards, who also owns Alpha Funeral Services and two other similar businesses, has been named in a civil lawsuit.

A former manager at Alpha Funeral services claims he was repeatedly pressured by Edwards to swap out body parts because bodies had gone missing. According to the claim, the Indiana University School of Medicine was expecting teaching tools.

Last year, Fox59 cameras also caught several men moving up to eight bodies inside Grinsteiner Funeral Home on their shoulders or in their hands, not on gurneys. Fox59 was also given a photograph of a body on the ground.

A member of the Indiana State Board of Funeral and Cemetery Service watched the video, claiming it was shocking and inappropriate, but it was not an illegal way of operating.

The inspection reports for the funeral homes in question reveal no problems, but each one was not inspected more than twice since 2010. There are only four inspectors in the state who are responsible for approximately 12,000 businesses.

Jones said there should be more protections for people like her who have already suffered a great loss.

“He just had a huge heart. He was a good person. He was 53, and he had a sudden heart attack. He was my best friend,” she said.

Calls to Edwards were not returned Tuesday.

16 comments

  • Tina Chadwick

    I used this funeral home for my sons cremation and I am totally devestated by this news. My son died over the summer about the time this investigation was going on. One of those bodies could've been his and now I'm wondering if I have the right remains.

  • Jay

    Just an FYI the larger gentleman that is being shown in this video is not Anthony Edwards. That mans name is Dan. Anthony is much younger. If the media would like more information on this funeral I'd be more than happy to give it. I worked there back in 2008 and similar practices were performed just not the swapping of remains.

    • janene jones

      you should come forward and let me know what you know. They need to be in jail and bull dozen down to the ground. (JANENE JONES) on fb

      • hoosierman1

        hi jenene,
        frist off i'm truely sorry you had to go through this, this place need to be closed for good we need to stick together and do what ever it takes to close the doors to grinstiners and alpha funeral service.

        i had to go through this in july or 2012 with my lover and it took me 17 days to get his ashes back and now i'm not sure if i have his ashes, i was wondering if you could have your lawyers contact me
        like i said i will do anything to get these people put out of business.

        sorry again for your loss.

        rick.

  • Daddy's Girl

    My father was also cremated there this summer. We all have necklaces, hope to be his ashes. How do we know/ find out? This is such a horrible feeling not knowing. Maybe if they would have asked people would have let them use their love one's body at IU

  • Trish Marlow

    this is really sad my dad was cremated at this place now i will always wounder if it is really him .what kind of person would do that to someones ones loved one

  • janene jones

    ppl you may not think your situations with this place are important but they are!!!! just call (ANN) she is the reporter with fox59. she needs to know your story too!….

  • allen pruitt

    hello,my 23 year old daughter Micole d Boillat passed away july 29 2012 of unknow cause of death by the coroners office and grinsteiner handled the funeral arragement and i had to come up with 2150.00 in 3 days after she died,so hard to deal with losing your child,grinsteiner told us she was turning black.really nice thing to tell a greiving father,the day of the funeral,she was so swollen it made me sick to my stomach. please someone help me please with this matter.please call me at 317 681 3013 thank you.Allen pruitt

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