Former funeral director says he was ordered to create "fake remains"
The former director of an Indianapolis funeral home says he was forced to resign, after refusing an order to combine body parts to cover up for missing medical cadavers.
He said his boss tried to get him to illegally fake remains bound for the Indiana University School of Medicine.
Missing cadavers, random remains and swapped out body parts - they're all part of a bizarre allegation aimed at an Indianapolis funeral home, where Thursday, the door was locked and a sign gave visitors a phone number to call.
The civil lawsuit was filed in Marion Superior Court against Alpha Funeral Service on New York Street.
Its owner, Anthony Edwards, also owns Edwards Family Mortuaries on the west side.
Former funeral home manager David Eckert claims he was forced to resign after being ordered by his boss to create "fake remains" of three bodies.
According to the suit, the three cadavers were supposed to be loaned to the IU School of Medicine last summer.
Eyewitness News has confirmed IU does have a contract with Alpha Funeral Service for transportation and cremation services.
But the lawsuit says Alpha somehow lost some of the bodies bound for IU.
Eckert says his boss told him to "get it handled and taken care of".
Court documents say Eckert understood that to mean "gather three separate containers of random remains, assemble them, and create false id tags".
The lawsuit alleges he was supposed to send those in place of the missing bodies.
Eckert says he refused to do it and quit the funeral home in October, fearing he could be open to criminal charges.
Eyewitness News spoke with the attorney for Alpha Funeral Service by phone. "We deny, or Alpha denies any and all substantive allegations contained in the complaint. We're in the process of conducting our own investigation into the allegations and we will be responding accordingly," said attorney Jeff Halbert.
The lawsuit also alleges Alpha Funeral Service had faked body id's before.
Eyewitness News contacted Alpha, Anthony Edwards and David Eckert's attorney, none of whom returned phone calls for comment on the case.
In the lawsuit, David Eckert is seeking lost wages and benefits, damages for emotional pain and punitive damages.