Customers and owners react after Salt Lake City mortuary’s license suspended

Posted at 9:31 PM, Nov 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-04 14:26:01-04

SALT LAKE CITY - When Misty Rosas saw the video of Carver Mortuary on Thursday's newscast, she immediately recognized it. It's the place her father was taken in 2015 after he passed away at a nursing home.

"It wasn't a pleasant experience," Rosas said of her interactions with employees at Carver.

But when former employees testified Thursday that they saw other workers mixing remains during cremation, she couldn't believe it.

"I really hope it's not true because it's so sad for so many people's loved ones," she said.

The allegations came after a four-person-committee with the Department of Commerce met during an emergency proceeding Thursday and determined to immediately suspend the license of Carver Mortuary.

The two whistle blowers allege a number of things, including that they saw workers, "placing fetal remains or infants in the same retort as a deceased adult person."

A retort is the chamber where bodies are put for cremation. The testimony raises concern over mixed remains.

"I hope I really have my dad's ashes," a tearful Rosas said.

Carver Mortuary released a response to those allegations Friday, reading in part:

"We are concerned about the allegations made by the DOPL and want to ensure the public that we are very confident that any remains received by family members were properly segregated and identified."

Carver Mortuary announced Friday night their plans to challenge the order, and the committee will have 20 days to grant that request.

But employees weren't finished with their allegations, also stating that it was common practice to, "keep jewelry, watches, rings, and other personal property and not deliver items to decedents' family."

One customer Fox 13 spoke to Friday questioned those claims.

"It says right there on the big sign, please get your family's jewelry. Pick up your family's personal items," said Troy Thuet, whose sister was being cremated at Carver Mortuary.

Salt Lake Attorney Greg Skordas said that possible criminal charges could be coming.

"Some of the stuff we're talking about here would constitute as theft if a prosecutor or law enforcement agency wants to pursue it," Skordas said after reading the committee's findings.

The company has denied the allegations from the start, claiming the employees were disgruntled.