The family of the deceased, identified as Charlene Wimbush who died at 43, filed a case against a NYC funeral home. Relatives say that her body was taken without permission and soon after, several actions were done to the body to make its condition worse.
Owens Funeral Home, which took the body a week ago, is owned by Isiah Owens. According to the story, Owens went and got the body from the New York Medical Examiner's Office without any documents or permission from Wimbush's relatives, reported NY Daily News. As far as the family was concerned the funeral home had no right to get the body, but why the medical examiner allowed the body to be taken was not explained.
Wimbush died at Harlem hospital on February 11, 2021, from cardiac arrest. Her relatives called Owen's Funeral Parlor because they did the final rites for the deceased parents before in New Jersey. This was what was mentioned in the Bronx Supreme Court, where the case was file by Tracy Reese and four others, who are relatives of the deceased woman.
One of the problems was Owens said he could not remember where Charlene's parents were buried. Relatives were aghast at the cold attitude towards them in a meeting and he was not amiable on a phone call, which aggravates the tense situation further. When an NYC Funeral home gets body under these circumstances, it can be considered criminal.
Isaiah Owens said that he hqe been in the industry for 50 years and also had a "good name" in a short interview. He asserted that he had a verbal contract with Wimbush's common-law husband, but it was hampered by the difficulty to establish her parents' gravesite. He alluded to the suit as a "complete farce.", noted by Yahoo News.
In the end, the family ended the negotiations with the parlor and decided on an alternative venue but not Owen's. On February 23, the parlor operator called the family and said he got their relative's remains from the NYC coroner's office. He added that the body had been embalmed already by his technicians.
A statement from the case said that the relatives had not allowed Owens or Owens Funeral Home to touch the remains of Wimbush, which is the main complaint in the lawsuit.
Closed casket required
Many relatives were distressed at what happened to Wimbush's body. One statement, from the suit, said she was not fit for an open casket funeral.
According to a report, the Owens Funeral Home has been taking bodies from the coroner's office without permission. This new lawsuit mentions that in 2013, the funeral parlor operator had done the same thing to another family and it was documented too.
Kin of James Turner filed a case for the situation where an NYC Funeral home gets body without permission. The owner confessed that of the 400 final rites services done in 2011, more than 200 had no permission said the court. Eric Rothstein, an attorney for the Wimbush family said, noted sNewsi," "Owens Funeral Home's conduct is reprehensible, and it makes them appear like body snatchers, previously having been held culpable for the same thing."