Carlinville Funeral Home Accused of Providing Wrong Cremation Remains to Multiple Clients, Decomposing Remains Found on Site

By Benjamin Cox on September 29, 2023 at 7:18pm

The Sangamon County Coroner and the Sangamon County Sheriff have opened an investigation into the practices of Heinz Funeral Home and Family Care Cremations in Carlinville.

Sangamon County Coroner Jim Allmon says that the investigation came after a phone call from a Springfield hospital on Monday said a body of a decedent had not been claimed by the funeral home for more than a month.

“On Monday, September 25th, our office was contacted by a local hospital about a deceased individual who had been in the hospital morgue for more than a month. After calling the family of the deceased in question, I learned that the family had chosen Heinz Funeral Home and Family Care Cremation in Carlinville shortly after their mother’s death to assist them.

The family of the deceased then explained to me that the funeral home in question had already provided them with cremated remains of their mother. Unfortunately, I had to tell the daughters of the deceased that the remains in their possession were not those of their mother, their mother was still in the hospital morgue.

After meeting with the deceased’s family, and examining the cremains they were given, it was determined that those cremains in question belonged to another Sangamon County resident. Our investigation has discovered numerous incidents similar to this that involve Heinz Funeral Home or Family Care Cremations telling the decadent’s family that their loved one had been cremated, that they were then provided with cremains when in actuality a cremation never even took place.”

Allmon says he’s not releasing the names of the current families affected by the problems discovered at Heinz Funeral Home. He also says he’s unsure of where the mixed-up and missing cremains problem ends.

Allmon says that he and several agencies visited Heinz Funeral Home in Carlinville yesterday at his request and found further problems.

“Yesterday the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Department, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, the Carlinville Police Department, Macoupin County Coroner, and I, met at Heinz Funeral Home upon my request in Carlinville. There we discovered the remains of three individuals that were not in a refrigerated setting and in an advanced state of decomposition. They were unable to be identified at that time. My office took possession of all three of the decedents, transported them back to Sangamon County so they could be identified scientifically, and returned to their families.

Since the investigation started I’ve contacted numerous families that have been given the wrong cremains. This investigation has also led us to believe that at least in one situation, a decedent in the care of this funeral home was cremated under a different name.

While it’s not the duty of the coroner to manage or police funeral directors, I was not going to sit idly by and allow this to happen to more residents of Sangamon County.”

Allmon says the investigation is in its beginning stages. Sangamon County Sheriff Jack Campbell says no one has been arrested yet.

“This is very early in the investigation as Coroner Allmon stated. So we are determining what if any laws were broken. We’re in contact with the State’s Attorney’s Office, Dan Wright’s Office, to determine what evidence we would have. So again, as of right now, there is nobody in custody, but as we continue the investigation we’re going to see what possible criminal charges there could be. We are still accumulating our reports and we’ve assigned a detective lieutenant to Coroner Allmon, and he’s accompanying him to the families’ houses, and into the funeral home and he will be the one that will be our point person in this investigation.”

Heinz Funeral Home has been in operation since 1854 and remains in that family. August & Clay Heinz are the lead funeral directors for the home. Allmon says he was made aware that the funeral home has had issues in the past, but refused to elaborate.

Allmon urges families who have questions about any past dealings they’ve had with Heinz Funeral Home to call his office at 217-753-6610.