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Funeral Home Workers Accused Of Letting A Body Rot In Storage For Three Years

Lawrence Robert Meadows and Roderick Mitchell Cummings allegedly kept the body in a locked room with no refrigeration because of a payment dispute.

By Jon Silman

Two funeral home workers left a body to rot in a storage room because they didn't get full payment for a funeral, according to prosecutors.

Lawrence Robert Meadows (pictured left) and Roderick Mitchell Cummings (pictured right), both 40, were indicted by a grand jury on Friday on charges of desecrating a corpse, according to WIS in Columbia.

The men were supposed to cremate Mary Alice Pitts Moore, 63, after a funeral in 2015, but instead they locked her up in an unrefrigerated storage room under blankets and surrounded by "fragrant items," according to a lawsuit filed by Moore's family and cited by the Associated Press.

They're also accused of moving the body to a different funeral home 65 miles away.

The two men kept the body from March 2015 to February 2018, according to the indictment. When it was finally discovered, the body was so badly decomposed it took the medical examiner two weeks of reviewing medical records to confirm the identity, the AP reported.

Moore's family held a celebration of life ceremony on March 26, 2015 and had a viewing of the body. The body was then supposed to be cremated and returned, but the men kept the body because they said the family didn't pay the bill, authorities said.

Meadows worked at First Family Funeral Home but the state Board of Funeral Service revoked the organization's license after getting numerous complaints.

Meadows lost his funeral director's license in April 2015 because of a different matter, the AP reported, after he forged a signature on a life insurance document when the person refused to use it for funeral services.

Cummings does not have a funeral license in South Carolina, the AP reported. Both men face up to 10 years in prison, according to WIS.

A different funeral home cremated Moore's remains for free, according to The Post and Courier. Moore's husband, Fred Parker Jr., said he couldn't believe they treated his wife's dead body that way.

“Three years,” Parker said in a low growl, slowly drawing out the words, according to The Post and Courier. “How would you feel? It gets worse every day just thinking about it.”

[Photo: Spartanburg County Detention Center]

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