Funeral Director Investigation

By David Kenney

When families have someone cremated, it's assumed the ashes they recieve are those of their loved ones, but are they always?

Jackson funeral director Mark Seepe is under investigation, for not properly disposing of cremated remains.

This week solid evidence of documented violations were presented to state investigators.

Lori Wilkinson says she only worked eight days for Jackson funeral director Mark Seepe, during which time she collected evidence, then quit.

Wilkinson says, "He got 55-gallon drums of bones in the office,,,the guys came to repair the cremation machine and we saw the amount of bones in the bottom of it there was no doubt whatsoever that he had not done what he was paid to do, these people are getting boxes of who knows what."

Lorie took pictures of the violations with her cellphone, and has now presented to the State Board of Funeral Services.

Some show a large hole in the bottom of the crematory chamber, where numerous bones had collected.

Board member Charles Riles says, "We also saw bones in barrels, in boxes and this was a great deal of concern. In the cremation process there should be no bones of large proportion left."

Charles Riles of the state board of funeral services says he's shared the pictures with the attorney generals office, and they're now jointly conducting an investigation into Seepe.

Their biggest concern is for families who used his services, and received what they thought were the ashes of their deceased family memebers.

Riles says, "I seem to think in my opinion perhaps the cremated body was not that of the loved one."

That's exactly what Jackson attorney Paul Rodgers says happened to his clients.

He has filed a five million dollar lawsuit against Seepe on behalf of the family of Edwin Van Every, who say they received the wrong ashes.

Rodgers says, "They received a phone call from Mr. Tony wells, a member of the State Board of Funeral Service who advised them he had reason to believe the remains they had were not those of their father but were the remains of some unknown person."

We attempted to contact mark seepe at his Lorenz boulevard office in Jackson, but our calls were not returned.