Attorneys: Brooklyn funeral home allegedly linked to larger operation
A Flatlands funeral home already being investigated for mishandling bodies could possibly be linked to a much larger operation.
The family of 77-year-old Angela Rodriguez says after she passed away on March 24, they arranged for her to be cremated at Dekalb Funeral Services in the Bed-Stuy section of Brooklyn.
"Angela Rodriguez was a living, breathing, loving human. She wasn't just some piece of trash who could be discarded because she had passed away,” said attorney Kathryn Barnett.
More than six weeks later and still unable to claim the remains of their loved one, the Rodriguez family says they found out the unthinkable.
They say the medical examiner called the family to let them know that Rodriguez’s body had never been cremated and that it wasn’t even at Dekalb Funeral Services. They say her body was found at Andrew T. Cleckley Funeral Home, on the other side of the borough.
Just over a week prior to the call, an investigation found that Cleckley had been storing bodies in U-Haul trucks outside. According to the family’s attorneys, Cleckley's funeral services were working together with many other funeral homes.
The family is now suing both Dekalb and Cleckley.
"Cleckley was acting as kind of a storefront for multiple funeral homes throughout the community,” said Attorney Mike Morgan.
They believe Rodriguez’s body was found stacked in one of the rooms inside Cleckley.
"They could've called for help, they didn't and they didn't do it for one reason, they wanted the money,” said Morgan.
The family is seeking punitive damages to deter all funeral homes from doing anything like this, ever again.
News 12 has reached out to Dekalb Funeral Services and has not heard back yet.