Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Monday, February 12, 2018

Woman’s Body Held in Ohio Mortuary for More Than a Year

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Nancy Jo Roberts died with no family in Cincinnati to take care of her remains. After her death, her body was taken to a funeral home in Colerain Township, Ohio. Once the staff at the funeral home realized that Roberts was an indigent case, they passed her on to Premium Mortuary Services (Premium) located in Carlisle, Ohio. Premium was limited by Ohio law on what it could do with the body. Poul Lemasters, a death care attorney who represented Premium, said that all they could do was “accept a body. ... Can't cremate. Can't bury. You hold her and keep her in the most dignified way you can.” In all, Roberts’s corpse has been in storage for over a year. The family, once too busy to check regularly on Roberts, are now demanding answers. This is a valuable lesson for those with loved ones who have been relegated to once-in-a-decade visits in that it may be a good idea to pick up the phone every so often so they do not find themselves in a similar situation.

See Woman’s Body Held in Ohio Mortuary for More Than a Year, Fox News, February 2, 2018.


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