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Cremation scandals continue 14 years after the discovery of more than 300 decomposing bodies in Georgia

Cremation scandals continue 14 years after the discovery of more than 300 decomposing bodies in Georgia.

In 2002, more than 300 bodies that were supposed to be cremated by Tri-State Crematory operator,  Tommy Ray Brent Marsh, were discovered in Walker County, Georgia.  The discovery started a frenzy in the funeral and cremation business, influencing a barrage of new laws on the identification and cremation of the deceased.

While new laws were welcomed by true professionals in the industry, the discovery of continued mistreatment of the deceased and sloppy funeral operations continue to exist nationwide.

In February of 2013, a Lancaster County Pennsylvania funeral home director, Ben Siar, age 41, was accused of abuse of a corpse and stealing money from customers.  Investigators discovered four bodies at Gundel Funeral Home, decomposing.  The funeral director was paid more than $11,000 to cremate four deceased persons but failed in maintaining the public’s trust in the profession.

In July of 2014, twelve sets of remains were found in a storage unit of former funeral director, Joseph O’Donnell, including 40 cremated remains.

In June of 2015, Leroy and Rod Wood, co-owners of Arkansas Funeral Care in Jacksonville Arkansas, were arrested on 13 charges of abuse of a corpse and a total of 31 bodies were removed from the funeral home.

In March of 2016, Muskegon County Michigan funeral director, Thomas Claude Clock III of Clock Funeral Home in Whitehall, was arrested for allegedly burying an empty urn and misleading a family into thinking it contained a relative’s cremated remains.

Unfortunately, these tragedies continue to occur after 14 years since the discovery of the Tri-State Crematory and on the heels of the June 30, 2016 max possible release date of Tommy Ray Brent Marsh who is serving 12 years in Central State Prison in Macon, Georgia.

Consumers should be vigilant when choosing a funeral and cremation provider and should have no fear or embarrassment in asking to inspect the funeral home, view current state licenses, tour the crematory, inquire about the tracking methods used ensure the identity of their loved one, view the body of their loved one prior to cremation, including the option to witness the placement of the loved one in the crematory, inspect the cremated remains in the urn, view the tracking or identification placed in the urn after cremation and ask if the cremation provider is an Accredited Trusted Cremation™ Provider which includes twenty-one duties and obligations imposed on accredited cremation professionals.

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Trusted Cremation™ Provider Network is an international directory of cremation providers, some who have achieved the funeral industry’s highest designation as a Nationally Accredited Cremation Provider.  The accreditation standards have been duly developed and recognized by the National Cremation Research Council™ which seeks to advance the quality and performance of those providing cremation services to the general public and fellow professionals.

National Accreditation is important because it provides a means to benchmark current processes and identifies opportunities for improvement designed to raise the national standard.  Accreditation challenges all cremation providers to improve the services they offer the cremation consumer and bring honor the profession as a whole.

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Trusted Cremation

Chris Nuzum is the Executive Director of the Trusted Cremation™ Provider Network. He is a licensed funeral director and embalmer, a licensed insurance agent and has achieved the Certified Funeral Service Practitioner, CFSP, designation by the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice.

Nuzum has served as an expert witness on cremation practices, addressed state senate committees on funeral related practices, authored and co-authored funeral rated publications, hosted hundreds of caregiver seminars, served as a guest speaker to consumers, aging advocates and caregivers, been a guest on national radio and has been quoted in the national media on issues related to cremation services.

He holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Organizational Management from Ashford University – Forbes School of Business, where he was magna cum laude.He also holds a degree in Applied Sciences from Ogeechee Technical College and completed numerous courses from the Emergency Management Institute and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

To schedule Chris to speak at your next event, meeting or seminar, please contact the us via the contact page. For media inquiries, please use the contact page and Chris will contact you directly.
Trusted Cremation
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About Trusted Cremation

Chris Nuzum is the Executive Director of the Trusted Cremation™ Provider Network. He is a licensed funeral director and embalmer, a licensed insurance agent and has achieved the Certified Funeral Service Practitioner, CFSP, designation by the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice. Nuzum has served as an expert witness on cremation practices, addressed state senate committees on funeral related practices, authored and co-authored funeral rated publications, hosted hundreds of caregiver seminars, served as a guest speaker to consumers, aging advocates and caregivers, been a guest on national radio and has been quoted in the national media on issues related to cremation services. He holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Organizational Management from Ashford University – Forbes School of Business, where he was magna cum laude. He also holds a degree in Applied Sciences from Ogeechee Technical College and completed numerous courses from the Emergency Management Institute and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). To schedule Chris to speak at your next event, meeting or seminar, please contact the us via the contact page. For media inquiries, please use the contact page and Chris will contact you directly.