‘DEAD WAIT’ - Parlour stuck with body since last June as family struggles to pay for funeral package
A funeral home director, who claims to be owed more than $800,000 for the storage of a body that has been at his establishment since last June, said that he might have to cut his losses and dispose of the body himself.
Anthony Linton, director of Linton's Funeral Home in May Pen Clarendon, told THE WEEKEND STAR that he did not expect to be stuck with the body of the 63-year-old woman, eight months after putting her remains in his refrigerator.
Linton said that he has been relentless in his efforts to get members of the bereaved family to clear the debt and make arrangements for the burial or cremation of their matriarch.
"I just want them to come in, because it is occupying space and it a burn my pocket. I have to pay $35,000 a month for storage. They don't try to make any arrangements at all. They don't call me back from last year. Me a call them and nah get through to them," said Linton.
"I gave them one month and two week's free storage, which me nuh supposed to do because they're only supposed to get one month free, and now it gone to eight months."
Linton said he offered the family his cheapest package, valued at $190,000. He said he has received $112,000 but is adamant the amount is not enough to pay for his services.
"It gone over $800,000 now and me a give them by the end of March," he argued.
Contacted about the matter by the THE WEEKEND STAR, a relative said that after losing the family matriarch to cancer, the situation with the funeral home has compounded their grief.
"Every day me look pan it and it beat me, but me affi live with it cause me cyaa do nuh better. A me alone stuck in the situation now and me nuh know wah fi do. A nuh like me a work," said the relative.
"Two brothers [of the deceased] send over $100,000 go give them and them say them don't have any more. But the brothers said what they send coulda pay for the package. But the funeral home called back to say it need more because of storage."
"The family a say them tell them cremate the body, but them embalm the body and have it a store, so them nah pay no money fi storage 'cause them pay fi cremation," the relative added.
Contacted for comment, president of the Jamaica Association of Certified Embalmers, Calvin Lyn, said that under the law, when remains of deceased persons are unclaimed at a funeral home after one month, it can be disposed of, as long as the person doing so has the burial order.
"They can formalise it and put a notice in the newspaper to say, 'This unclaimed body has been here with us for that time and the relatives are not coming forward and by law they intend to dispose of it'," Lyn explained.
Referencing a similar situation at his funeral home, Lyn told THE WEEKEND STAR his establishment has a body that has been unclaimed at his establishment since 1997.
"We have her as a sample -- people come and we take her out and show them because she is properly embalmed," Lyn said.
Meanwhile, Linton, who claims to have the burial order, said he is seriously contemplating burying the body of the woman, who was an active member of her church.
"I'll just dispose of it because it is already burning my pocket. If me fi go bury it, me affi go get all casket, and the cheapest casket is $55,000, plus pay for [burial] spot and it's hard fi tek up somebody dead and bury it. But I might just buy a spot down a Denbigh [cemetery] and bury it and call it a day," Linton said.