Callaway funeral home not storing bodies properly, two charged
UPDATED 8:24 p.m.
A sign on the front door of Brock Hometown Funeral Home says it's permanently closed. The move comes after the Bay County Sheriff's Office made a disturbing discovery Sunday.
"I'm not aware of us having a situation like this before," said Sheriff Tommy Ford. "The funeral home industry in Bay County is very professional and it appears that this particular funeral home was having some business and financial issues."
Deputies found flies throughout the building and found six bodies being stored with no refrigeration. Ten bodies were stored in an area called the cooler which is required to be kept at no more than 40 degrees. According to reports the temperature in the cooler was 62 degrees. None of the bodies were embalmed and cremations had not been done according to family members' wishes.
"There's a lot of grief involved and our thoughts and prayers are with them, it's a very tough situation," said Sheriff Ford. "We're trying to be as sensitive as we can."
We did try to reach out to the funeral home for comment. We called both of the numbers posted on their front door, but when we called all we received was a message saying they were permanently closed.
Funeral home employee Gregory Dunphy blamed a lack of supplies for the condition of the bodies. He was arrested and charged with six counts of unlawful preservation and storage of human remains. Felicia Boesch's father owns the funeral home, she is believed to be responsible for the cooler area and was charged with ten counts of unlawful preservation and storage of human remains.
"We're working with the state department of financial services that regulates funeral homes as well as the medical examiner's office and some local funeral homes," said Sheriff Ford.
The medical examiner's office and a local funeral home has taken custody of the bodies. Sheriff Ford says this incident is still under investigation and more charges have not been ruled out.
The Bay County Sheriff's Office received a phone call Sunday afternoon at about 5 p.m. with information that bodies brought to the Brock Home Town Funeral Home in Callaway were not being stored properly.
BCSO deputies responded to the funeral home at 5907 Highway 22 and discovered sixteen bodies being stored in the main funeral home and in an area called the "cooler." BCSO Criminal Investigations and Crime Scene, and the Medical Examiner, were called to the scene.
Investigators counted six bodies being kept in the main part of the funeral home with no refrigeration at all. Flies were throughout the building. Ten bodies were in the "cooler" which is required to be kept at no more than 40 degrees. A thermometer in the room registered 62 degrees.
None of the bodies had been embalmed. Those remains whose families requested cremation had not been cremated.
Gregory Dunphy, a funeral home employee, stated he had no access to additional supplies and had run out of body bags. Felicia Boesch, whose father owns the funeral home, was contacted. Dunphy stated Boesch was the Office Administrator but her title and responsibilities are unclear at this time. Boesch stated she did perform some cremations and then declined to answer additional questions.
Gregory Dunphy, of Panama City, was arrested and charged with six counts of Unlawful Preservation and Storage of Human Remains. Investigators believe Dunphy was responsible for managing the main funeral home and thus responsible for the six bodies being stored there. Felicia Bosch, age 39, of Wewahitchka, is believed to be responsible for the cooler area and was charged with ten counts of Unlawful Preservation and storage of Human Remains for the bodies kept in the cooler at improper temperatures.