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Sun Aug 30 09:02:06 PDT 2015
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Photos show deplorable conditions at Ohio funeral home
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Shaun Hegarty

We’re now getting our first look inside a Toledo funeral home, with conditions that led to an investigation and its eventual closure. Robert Tate was supposed to be in Columbus Wednesday trying to regain his license. And now the 13abc I-Team has a better idea of what a state board will consider if that process moves forward. We want to warn you that some of what you may see is disturbing but it gives you a look and a sense at the conditions and why the state felt it was so important to shut it down. What people could not see from the outside of Tate funeral home in North Toledo was the condition inside. Now people can and state investigators say they're conditions nowhere up to code. In the garage area of the Tate funeral home investigators found some bodies inside bags. Some are in cardboard cremation containers and some are even stacked on top of each other. All but one are embalmed in one of the photos and none refrigerated. In the chapel area investigators found two bodies that are supposed to be headed to the crematorium. Inside the embalming room, you can see some of the tools sitting out. State law says this room should be well maintained and clean. Investigators say that's not what you're seeing. In one of the vents you can see a dryer sheet. According to the Executive Director of the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors, that's probably to mask to the smell in the room. A smell Vanessa Niekamp describes to the I-Team as "awful". More of the photos give you a sense for the conditions in this garage which also contains an unopened bottle of alcohol. A hearing to possibly reinstate the Tate funeral home license Wednesday morning was postponed by Tate's attorney's because of a medical issue. Speaking of hearings, there will be plenty more connected to this facility. The I-Team found four separate lawsuits all now pending in Lucas County Common Pleas court. The most recent filed on Monday. No new hearing date has been scheduled for Tate to try and regain his license. Tate is also facing criminal charges for abuse of a corpse. A trial is scheduled for September.


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