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.