Investigation launched into Carlinville funeral home
Sangamon County Coroner Jim Allmon this week visited the Heinz Funeral Home, which provides funeral and cremation services. He said he was shocked by what he found at the Carlinville facility.
Allmon told about discovering the remains of three people, who he said were not kept in a refrigerated setting and were in an advanced state of decomposition. The bodies had to be taken to Sangamon County for scientific identification.
Allmon said his involvement began when a local hospital called to report a woman’s body that had been kept in its morgue for more than a month. The family had selected Heinz to handle arrangements, he said.
“The family of the deceased then told me the funeral home in question had already provided them with cremains of their mother. Unfortunately, I had to tell the daughters of the deceased that the remains in their possession was not that of their mother.”
Their mother was still in the hospital morgue.
Allmon went on to say it was determined the cremains belonged to another Sangamon County resident. He said the investigation has found numerous incidents similar to that one involving Heinz.
“This investigation has also led us to believe in at least one situation, a decedent in the care of this funeral home was cremated under a different name,” he said.
The Sangamon County Sheriff’s Department, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Carlinville Police, the Macoupin County Coroner and Allmon all met at the funeral home Thursday and spoke to the owner and operator. He gave no details on what was discussed.
But while there, he said the remains of the three decomposing bodies were found.
Sangamon County Sheriff Jack Campbell said Friday the investigation is just beginning and no criminal charges have been filed.
Calls and emails to the funeral home seeking comment have not been returned.
Allmon said families with concerns can contact his office for assistance.
“I’ve never experienced anything like this in twenty years of doing this,” he said. “It’s unimaginable what these families are going through.”