MANOR TOWNSHIP, LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. -- Update: More and more customers are coming forward with allegations against a Lancaster County funeral home. A spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office says it is now investigating 16 complaints against Andrew T. Scheid Funeral Home. Monday, it had received 9 complaints. Anyone who did not receive the services they paid for are encouraged to contact its office. You can follow this link.
Katheen Ryan, executive director of the Pennsylvania Funeral Director Association, says people with complaints against the funeral home should also contact Timothy Fritsch and the Lancaster County District Attorney.
Fritsch is a prosecuting attorney for the Pennsylvania Department of State. Fritsch's contact information is stated on the formal charges against the funeral home. He can be reached at 717-783-7200.
The DA's office can be reached at 717-299-8100.
According to the complaint, Scheid has until January 18th to respond to the allegations. He risks a penalty of up to $10,000 dollars for each violation, the costs of an investigation, as well as the possibility of losing his funeral director's license.
“The potential certainly exists for independent civil cases by consumers, and the potential for criminal charges and the potential for criminal charges in which case jail is a possibility," said Ryan.
While Ryan says such misconduct is rare, she says it has happened before in Pennsylvania.
Ryan says it's important people know they can file complaints against professional and occupational licensees, such as a funeral director, by going to the Pennsylvania Licensing System website.
Wednesday afternoon, lights are off at the funeral home in Lancaster, and the phone numbers posted outside the home are disconnected. FOX43 met customers who allege mistreatment by the funeral home.
Linda Creasy of Manor Township lost her husband Glenn in early December.
"You didn’t know where your husband’s body was?" asked Grace Griffaton.
"No," responded Creasy. "We thought it was in the urn."
After being encouraged by a different funeral home, Creasy says she opened the urn. To her complete and utter shock, the urn was empty.
“Oh my gosh. Sick. I thought I was going to throw up. It was the worst feeling," said Creasy. "Andy also put on his death certificate that he cremated Glenn on the 18th, and he was never cremated until December 29th. That’s fraud and too long to have a body.”
Creasy says she also didn't receive the death certificates she paid for. Creasy called the Attorney General, the Lancaster County District Attorney, and Manor Township Police. Eventually, she says she received her husband's ashes. She is listed in the formal charges against the funeral home.
Then, there is Becky Bouder. The Manor Township woman lost her mother on Christmas Day in December. She says she paid Scheid for services, including having her mother's death posted in the newspaper, which it never did. Upon their first meeting, Bouder says Scheid was an hour late and used profanities throughout the meeting. The day of the service, Bouder says Scheid refused to put her mother's jewelry on. Bouder says her son had to work a television because nobody at the funeral home could get it to work. She also alleges, when family arrived for the service, Scheid was still working on Bouder's mother, and they had to wait almost an hour.
Bouder showed us a photo of memorial cards she ordered for her mom; she described them as crooked.
Both Bouder and Creasy wonder why it took so long for the accusations to come to light.
“Stuff happened back in July with bodies rotted and stuff. Why wasn’t something done then? If this was taken seriously, this might not have happened to other people," said Creasy.
Previous: A state oversight board has filed a lengthy complaint against a Lancaster County funeral home.
Andrew T. Scheid Funeral Home, with its main location in Manor Township and a branch establishment in Lancaster, boasts it is "here to serve families with dignity and reverence, regardless of expenditure," according to its website.
The 30-count complaint, though, alleges otherwise. It states the funeral home did not embalm a man's remains and left them out for days, it did not return cremated remains to families, the owner signed a document as a client, the funeral home gave one woman an empty urn, among other serious accusations.
Monday morning, FOX43 showed up to the funeral home in Manor Township. FOX43's Grace Griffaton wanted to talk to owner Andrew Scheid. While on the property, FOX43 met a man named Clyde Snyder who said he delivers bodies to the funeral home. Snyder said he can't get a hold of Scheid either.
"It's a mess," Snyder said. "Just what I'm hearing. He [the owner] is nowhere to make a statement on it. We're all dropping out, I guess."
Snyder says he is looking for a new part-time gig at a different funeral home as some past customers share their experiences.
"We just got a box that they claim are his ashes on Thursday," explained Ryan Stauffer of York County.
That is nearly two years after Ryan Stauffer and his wife Clara say they said goodbye to their step father.
"We've heard a lot of stories about other people getting a box with nothing in it," added Stauffer. "This has stuff in it, but to me and my wife, they look like gravel. For all we know, they could have given us a dead dog."
"Unprofessional, disrespectful," said Lakan Oberholtzer of York County when asked about the funeral home.
Oberholtzer says a necklace is not the one she ordered for her father who passed away in the fall. Oberholtzer also claims a memory box she ordered was not supposed to be glued shut. Upon opening it, she found her father's ashes in a plastic bag. Oberholtzer says she cannot get a call back from the funeral home either.
"We're already trying to deal with the loss of my dad, other families dealing with the loss of a loved one, and we have to put up with this. It's like I can't even grieve how I'm supposed to," explained Oberholtzer.
Stauffer says he wants to spare other families the same pain.
"Never go to that funeral parlor because they will deal with heartaches and heartbreaks and everything than anywhere else," said Stauffer.
FOX43 also called the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office in regards to complaints against the funeral home. A spokesperson says it received 9 complaints against the funeral home in the last year as well.
Scheid's license was originally issued in 1995. According to the complaint, it's good through February 1, 2020.
FOX43 reached out to the state's board of funeral directors for comment through email and by phone; they have not yet answered the request.
FOX43 speaks to a customer of Andrew T. Scheid Funeral Home