JOHNSTOWN, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Johnstown funeral home director, who is accused of improperly storing and treating uncovered human remains at his funeral home, is in police custody.
The Johnstown Police Department issued an arrest warrant for Brian Barnett Monday afternoon. He was in custody later that evening.
Barnett, 35, was wanted for the following charges:
- 3 counts of concealment of a human corpse
- Third- and fourth-degree grand larceny
- 3 felony counts of failing to bury a body within a reasonable amount of time
- 2 counts of endangering the welfare of a child
- Operating a funeral home without a license
- Operating as a funeral director without a valid license
Barnett was listed as the sole owner of Ehle and Barnett Funeral Home. The funeral home had been unregistered since summer 2021 under the New York State Department of Health. His license to practice as a funeral director had been suspended since late November 2021.
Police conducted a search warrant at the funeral home in January after a family lodged a complaint with the Johnstown Police Department and told officers they hadn’t been able to get a hold of Barnett for several weeks after purchasing cremation services for a loved one.
While conducting a search warrant of the Ehle and Barnett Funeral Home property on January 14, investigators located over a dozen containers of cremated remains. Several containers did not have visible identification tags and were open.
In a detached garage on the premises, detectives found bodies in advanced stages of decomposition. Police said the bodies were found surrounded by garbage/furniture and were not stored in a temperature-controlled location.
Johnstown Police is asking anyone who purchased services at the home and did not receive the remains of their loved ones to contact them at JPD@cityofjohnstown.ny.gov or the Fulton County Coroners Office.