No criminal charges filed in abandoned casket case

Boatright: I had no idea casket was inside

INDIANAPOLIS - One year after a woman’s casket was found inside an abandoned building on Meridian Street, the Marion County prosecutor’s office has not filed criminal charges.

On May 1, 2012, construction workers found Pauline Keller, who died in 2008 at the age of 81, in a casket inside a building in the 2300 block of North Meridian Street.

Documents provided by Tinker show Keller paid then funeral director Marvin L. Boatright $3,500 for a funeral, 10 years before her death.

U.Z. Tinker, Keller’s guardian is upset about the way Keller’s remains were handled.

“If (prosecutors) don’t take care of it, there’s a god, and he’ll take care of it,” said Tinker on Wednesday. “It will get taken care of one way or the other. God keeps good records.”

Peg McCleish, spokeswoman for the Marion County prosecutor’s office, told the Call 6 Investigators the office is still reviewing the case.

“I haven’t heard anything, and I just considered it case closed,” Tinker said.

Murphy Parks Funeral Home and Cemetery stepped in and donated money to give Keller a proper burial.

"What can you do to make up for it, other than to give her a decent burial," Tinker said. "She wasn't just anybody. She was a person with good class and she offered a lot to society."

Pauline Keller was plagued with health problems including Parkinson's disease, and Tinker became her legal guardian in 1998.

Tinker said although Keller received her wish to be buried in a pink dress, he had no idea her casket was never delivered to Floral Park Cemetery.

"I turned it over to the funeral home," Tinker said last year. "I thought it'd be carried to the cemetery."

Boatright was convicted on forgery charges in 2011 related to his funeral business but did not face jail time.

When reached by phone in May 2012, Boatright said he was very sorry about what happened to Keller, but said he had no idea a casket was inside the abandoned building.

"I was remodeling that building, but folks changed the locks and I wasn't allowed to go back in and get my things,” Boatright said.

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