MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The state of Tennessee is investigating a local Memphis funeral home following a complaint of mishandled remains.
R. Bernard Funeral Services, located in Orange Mound, is the focus of the popular TV series, “Buried by the Bernards.”
According to records released by the state, the funeral home cremated the remains of a woman on Feb. 23, and the family picked up the ashes on March 4, along with a death certificate.
The family had requested the ashes be put into an urn they brought, records show.
When the family opened the urn on July 19, on what would have been the woman’s birthday, they discovered two pieces of paper inside the bag of ashes.
Records show the paper had information on it that did not belong to the woman.
When the family contacted the funeral home, they were told a disk with a number on it attached to the bag of ashes matched the woman’s information.
The funeral home offered to reimburse the family for time and travel, records show.
The family did not agree to the compensation, and instead filed a complaint with the state.
The funeral home responded to the complaint with a written statement that they had placed the woman’s remains in a temporary urn before placing them into the urn provided by the family.
The funeral home said it was unaware another person’s label was placed inside the urn, and admitted to accidentally placing the wrong information inside the urn, records show.
The document went on to say that the family agreed to a $2,000 compensation, but someone “who did not appear to be a family member” grabbed the phone, began cursing and hung up.
The funeral home said it has no other contact with the family.
The State confirmed it is investigating the complaint, but cannot comment on open investigations.
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