Inspections lead to more allegations against Carver Mortuary

Inspections lead to more allegations against Carver Mortuary (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV)- After the state temporarily closed Carver Mortuary in the face of a slew of allegations, including mixing ashes, a state investigator said he found more concerns at the business.

This week, he reported findings to the Utah Funeral Services Board---a panel of mostly funeral company representatives---charged with overseeing the industry.

Among the investigator's newest allegations: a cooler at nearly 50 degrees, no record of a body at the mortuary being received, improper draining on embalming tables, and what he said was blood on the embalming room floor.

The investigator made unannounced inspections just days before Christmas, and one week ago.

"We wanted to see a little bit more action here," said Brandon Burningham, a member of the board and a funeral director. "We do not want to hear any more of these types of findings."

Burningham said he perceives "a lack of urgency" by the mortuary in making improvements.

2News asked a lawyer for Carver if the owners understand the urgency.

"Absolutely, I think the message was received loud and clear," said Eric Benson, attorney for the mortuary. "They absolutely need to run this business as clean as possible. If there was a visit where there was a potential issue, they're working to clean those up."

Benson said a host of changes have already been made, including new management, policies and procedures.

Burningham said the next inspection better be clean.

"And if not?" 2News asked.

"If not, there will likely be consequences," he said.

The Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office has confirmed a criminal investigation. There may or may not be charges.

Also still in the works, a plan to notify at least some families whose loved ones remains were handled at the mortuary.

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