State pulls license from Hunter-Anderson Funeral Home, citing owner’s fitness & investigations into care of corpse – The Morgan Messenger

by Kate Shunney

West Virginia’s Board of Funeral Service Examiners final Monday voted in an emergency assembly to droop the license of Hunter-Anderson Funeral Home in Berkeley Springs.

Information of the state board’s vote was first reported by WV Metro Information.

The board’s vote adopted on the heels of a Berkeley County misdemeanor case filed in opposition to proprietor John Allen Anderson on August 9.

Anderson’s funeral house has been underneath investigation by the West Virginia State Police since mid-July for mishandling of a corpse, however that police company has not charged John Anderson with any crimes associated to that matter and wouldn’t share particulars of that investigation on the document till now.

Regardless of that, members of the West Virginia Board of Funeral Service Examiners cited police and incident studies from the West Virginia State Police of their criticism in opposition to John Anderson and of their resolution to drag his license to function the funeral house. Anderson is the only license holder for the funeral house operation.

Hunter Anderson Funeral Home in Berkeley Springs.

In a six-page criticism filed by Eugene Fahey, President of the West Virginia Board of Funeral Service Examiners, the Board outlined what they consider to be three violation of the state’s funeral service rules dedicated by Anderson.

The first of these is abuse of a corpse, the second is permitting homeless people to reside within the funeral house and the third is Anderson’s arrest on August 9 for trespassing, driving on a revoked license and obstructing an officer.

In keeping with Fahey, board members realized of the violations by means of police studies and see that the West Virginia State Police had been investigating Anderson’s dealing with of a corpse between the tip of June and mid-July.

In keeping with Sgt. Sam Smith of the Berkeley Springs detachment of the West Virginia State Police, troopers have been investigating suggestions which got here by means of a neighborhood health worker that John Anderson had mishandled the corpse of a neighborhood girl.

The similar day the tip was acquired, Sgt. S.A. Nazelrod of the West Virginia State Police secured a search warrant by means of Morgan County Justice of the Peace Court docket to enter Hunter Anderson Funeral Home on Inexperienced Road in Berkeley Springs and search for the corpse and any related proof that somebody on the funeral house had sexually assaulted the physique.

The search warrant doc lists attainable gadgets to grab, together with the physique itself, any bodily proof of sexual contact, any video or safety gadgets, any pornographic supplies, gadgets or ropes or cords used to safe the physique.

A returned search warrant dated July 12 and filed in Morgan County Justice of the Peace Court docket says that officers searched the funeral house shortly after midnight on July 12 and seized the deceased feminine physique and one yellow authorized pad containing handwritten notes. No different objects or gadgets had been taken by police, in response to courtroom information.

Sgt. Smith informed The Morgan Messenger on Monday that the feminine physique is on the West Virginia State Medical Examiner’s workplace however that State Police haven’t acquired any outcomes from their examination of the stays.

In a request for the July 12 search warrant, Sgt. Nazelrod informed the Justice of the Peace that the Morgan County Medical Examiner had declared the girl in query useless on June 29 at Battle Memorial Hospital. She was taken to the State Morgue and picked up there on June 30 by Hunter-Anderson.

On July 11, the girl’s son informed police the household had not held a funeral as a result of their mom was to be despatched for cremation to a facility in Capon Bridge. Police contacted Giffin Funeral Homes in Capon Bridge and that facility stated they’d not heard of that girl and didn’t have her stays.

Police famous of their software for a search warrant that Hunter-Anderson funeral house has no technique of refrigerating our bodies, they usually believed the Business had been in possession of the physique for 12 days.

State troopers additionally apparently have an incident report indicating that Anderson permitted “homeless individuals, known for abusing drugs, to live in the funeral home.” State funeral officers stated such a state of affairs is a “willful departure from accepted standards of professional conduct.”

An encounter between Anderson and police in Berkeley County on Air Nationwide Guard property on August 9 was one other layer to the investigation. In keeping with state funeral officers, a police officer responded to the decision about trespassing on the Air Nationwide Guard property and noticed in his report that Anderson  was in an “altered mental state” displaying erratic habits.

John Allen Anderson.

Police had been allegedly knowledgeable that Anderson had trespassed on the Guard property the earlier week. Police additionally discovered Anderson was driving on a license that had been revoked.

Members of the Board of Funeral Service Examiners discovered that the police encounter and ongoing investigation confirmed conduct “adversely affecting” Anderson’s “fitness to perform professional services.”

Anderson was given till September 1 to submit a written response to the board’s complaints, however his license to function the funeral house was suspended instantly.

On Monday, Anderson confirmed that the state had taken away his license to function the funeral house, however stated “it still belongs to me and God.”

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