Editor's note: This story was originally published Jan. 10.
A Lancaster County funeral director kept an unembalmed body unrefrigerated for three days and, in other instances, didn’t return cremated remains to families, the Pennsylvania Department of State alleges.
In a 51-page document filed Dec. 19 before the State Board of Funeral Directors, a Department of State prosecutor outlined 10 instances in which the Andrew T. Scheid Funeral Home was involved regarding a family member’s remains. The business, active in Lancaster County since 1995, has locations in Millersville and Lancaster.
The State Board of Funeral Directors regulates the licensure and practice of funeral directors. The board also oversees licensing and conducts inspections of funeral homes, according to the Department of State.
Most of the counts alleged “gross incompetency, negligence and misconduct of the profession” by Scheid in violation of state funeral law, as well as a failure to “provide full and factual representation concerning aspects of the services rendered.”
The disciplinary action lists other counts, including not following the wishes of families in contracts, overbilling, unreturned calls and not returning ashes of loved ones.
Scheid has until Jan. 18 to respond to the allegations or risk civil penalties of up to $10,000 for each violation, as well as the suspension or loss of his funeral director license.
Scheid did not return a phone call seeking comment Friday.
(Click on the PDF to see the full statement. Story continues after PDF)
One count in the disciplinary filing alleges Scheid left the body of Elwood Reese unembalmed and unrefrigerated in a room with no air conditioning for three days.
Reese’s body was mistakenly picked up by the Andrew Scheid Funeral Home instead of another funeral home. His body “had significantly decomposed” from being left in such conditions, the disciplinary action states.
Another count alleges Scheid’s wife, Joselyn Scheid, withheld remains from being transferred to the Charles F. Snyder Funeral Home after the family chose to change funeral service providers after the death of J. Lester Witmer in June 2016.
Joselyn Scheid told a Charles F. Snyder employee that she would not release remains unless the funeral home received a $895 payment for services provided, the document states. The employee settled with Scheid’s wife and paid $295 as a “transportation fee,” according to the disciplinary document.
Another count alleges Scheid signed a $10,000 funeral purchase contract in the name of a woman whose mother died.
Lancaster Bureau of Police Lt. Kurtis Miller interviewed Scheid about the allegation. Scheid admitted he “subscribed” the woman’s name on the contract for her mother’s funeral services, according to the Department of State document.
No criminal charges have been filed against Scheid. A spokesman for the District Attorney’s office declined to comment.
(Andrew T. Scheid Funeral Home is not affiliated with Melanie B. Scheid Funeral Directors and Cremation Services).