Hundreds of grieving families may have been given ‘wrong ashes’ by funeral parlour as hotline receives over 350 calls

12 March 2024, 09:15 | Updated: 12 March 2024, 14:45

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Grieving of families fear they may have been given the wrong ashes.
Grieving of families fear they may have been given the wrong ashes. Picture: Alamy/Instagram

By Jenny Medlicott

Hundreds of grieving families fear they may have been given the wrong ashes after police launched a probe into a funeral parlour last week.

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Humberside police raided three funeral homes in east Yorkshire last week after receiving a report over concerns about the "storage and management processes relating to care of the deceased”.

The investigation has so far resulted in 34 bodies being removed from the parlour Legacy Independent Funeral Directors.

Now concerns have emerged that the ashes given to grieving families may be from the wrong person after a hotline was set up for the bereaved.

Locals have claimed that they had been told their family members had been cremated when in fact they remained in the mortuary.

So far, more than 350 calls have been made to the hotline with dozens of families expressing concerns that the ashes of their loved ones could be from a different body.

Emma Osbourne told the Telegraph that she had been informed that her stepfather may have been one of the 34 bodies removed - despite allegedly having been given his ashes a month ago.

“As far as we know he has got his ID band on him, that's all we know, he has not been identified properly,” she told the outlet.

“They [the funeral directors] have given my step-brother ashes a month ago, they have given him ashes saying that it was my step-dad. I think there might be a number of other people that have been in the same [position], that's all I can say.”

The firm is run by owner Robert Bush and his daughter Saskya.
The firm is run by owner Robert Bush and his daughter Saskya. Picture: Instagram

One of the people who has raised concerns reportedly made her late husband’s ashes into jewellery for family, but now they are questioning whether the ashes are his.

Leila Parker-Poland, 35, told the Mirror: “I am convinced they lost my mum’s ashes.”

She said she had visited the Legacy building previously and was told her mother’s ashes couldn’t be found. They were brought to her house later that evening.

She said the parlour handed arrangements for her father the year before and that her mother’s ashes weighed less than her father’s despite the fact her mother had been smaller.

Ms Parker-Poland also said she knew of another woman who had a ‘box of ashes from Legacy’ but when she called the crematorium they told her “no one of that name was cremated” on the dates given.

Read more: Two arrested after three funeral homes raided by police and 34 bodies removed over treatment of corpses

Read more: Three funeral homes raided by police and bodies removed over fears over treatments of corpses

Police raided the parlour last week.
Police raided the parlour last week. Picture: Alamy

One man also told the outlet: “My dad’s funeral was 10 years ago. We are wondering if he actually got cremated. I got some ashes but now I am not sure they were his.”

Many were shown an unopened casket during the ceremonies for their loved ones and were told they would be taken to the crematorium at a later date.

Some have said they had to repeatedly follow up with Mr Bush to receive the ashes afterwards while others are now questioning whether the caskets contained their loved ones’ bodies at all.

The firm is run by owner and father-of-two Robert Bush and his daughter Saskya, an engineering graduate.

It comes after a man, 46, and a woman, 23, were arrested over the weekend on suspicion of prevention of a lawful and decent burial, fraud by false representation and fraud by abuse of position.

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