Unidentified cremated remains find home in NIles cemetery

Staff report


Of the 42 sets of cremated remains confiscated by the Niles Police Department from the Robert P. McDermott Memorial Home in Niles, seven are still unidentified.

They will eventually be placed either in the mausoleum or columbarium niche in Niles Cemetery, said Capt. Ken Criswell of the Niles Police Department.

A columbarium niche is a structure that holds ashes.

Criswell said he believes in all seven cases, the ashes were left over after urns or other objects had been filled with ashes by the funeral home.

One container taken from the funeral home was empty.

The other 34 sets will be returned to family members.

One family already has claimed them, and the rest will be notified next week that they can pick them up.

Criswell said he’s been advised that failing to return all ashes to family members does not appear to be illegal but is considered unethical in the funeral-home business.

Criswell said he received an order from Trumbull County Common Pleas Court giving him permission to release the cremated remains to family or for burial.

The criminal investigation into the Robert P. McDermott Memorial Home has been completed and turned over to Trumbull County prosecutors, Criswell said.

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