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Mortician accused of mishandling corpses, abusing drugs

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Funeral director accused of more than a dozen misdeeds, including mishandling corpse
  • Funeral home closed while state board investigates
  • Director denies allegations, which include leaving a body unrefrigerated for 13 days
  • Findlay
  • Crime
  • Death and Dying

(CNN) -- The state board that licenses funeral homes in Ohio has opened an investigation into a funeral director in Findlay, Ohio, who is accused of mishandling a corpse, being naked in public and wearing the jacket of a deceased man in front of his family.

Though Gregory Routson, owner of Routson Funeral Chapel, is not facing any criminal charges, his funeral home has been closed pending an investigation, according to a notice of suspension issued Monday by the State of Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors.

State regulators said they began the investigation after receiving a complaint from a family last week.

Other allegations against Routson include being intoxicated or addicted to illegal drugs, not properly disposing of waste materials and failing to properly sterilize instruments used in embalming. He's also accused of being naked in public during business hours, threatening and/or harassing employees and partially embalming a corpse and then leaving it un-refrigerated for 13 days.

Routson did not return calls to his funeral home, but he told CNN affiliate WUPW that the accusations are not true. Since being shut down on Monday, he said he's been inundated by concerned customers who have prepaid for funeral arrangements.

Watch WUPW's report

"I'm sorry that this had to happen," he said. "Because they entrusted their final wishes to me, and it should have never happened."

Routson can ask the state board for a hearing or file an appeal in court within 30 days.