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Family says Indy funeral home held grandmother's body for weeks without cremating

Posted: 10:17 PM, Oct 22, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-23 09:37:44-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- An Indy family says a month after their grandmother passed away they were still waiting to get her remains from Crown Hill Cemetery. 

Carole Botkin was well known and respected in the community, according to her family. Her granddaughter, Autumn, says she would always open her doors to those in need.

“She would let people sleep on her couch, her floor. She was everyone’s grandma Carole,” said Autumn.

Botkin lost her battle with lung cancer on September 29. She had told her family she wanted Crown Hill Funeral Home and Cemetery to handle her funeral and cremation.  

After communicating with the funeral director in person on October 1, and then over e-mail, Autumn said her grandmother still hadn’t been cremated as of October 16 and the funeral director she had spoken to was no longer employed there.

“I was waiting on a phone call to say ‘you can come pick up your grandmother’s ashes’ not that your grandmother’s not been cremated,” said Autumn.

After several conversations with the funeral home, Autumn said she decided to move her grandmother to Indiana Funeral and Crematory to start the process all over again.

“There was just no… empathy… no compassion, a lot of disrespect,” said Autumn. “I decided I did not feel my grandmother was safe in their care and was going to be treated in the way she deserved to be treated.”

After speaking to RTV6, Autumn said she was able to sit down with the district manager at Crown Hill and they refunded her money.

She hopes her story will provoke change at the funeral home and other families will not have to go through the experience she has.

Crown Hill Cemetery released the following statement to RTV6 Monday evening.

“We are working directly with the family to address their concerns brought to our attention. As part of our commitment to all our client families, we guard their privacy and because of this, we do not discuss specific client arrangements. We value the relationships we have with our client families and encourage anyone with concerns to contact us directly.”

The family is now planning their second service for Botkin. It will be held at the Indiana Funeral Care on November 10. The viewing will be from 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. with the service immediately following. 

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