JOHNSTOWN, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Johnstown funeral home director was arrested by the Johnstown Police Department (JPD). Police say he improperly stored and treated uncovered human remains at his unregistered funeral home.
According to JPD, on Monday, February 7, at around 8:25 p.m., Brian Barnett turned himself into Johnstown Police. Barnett was arrested, processed, charged, and arraigned.
- 3 counts of concealment of a human corpse (Felony)
- Grand Larceny in the Third Degree (Felony)
- Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree (Felony)
- 3 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
After arraignment, Barnett was released on pre-trial release and scheduled to return on February 15. Judge Traci DiMezza was assigned the case due to both Johnstown Judges having to recuse themselves from the case.
Barnett was the owner of the Ehle and Barnett Funeral Home. His funeral home had been unregistered since summer 2021 and his license to practice as a funeral director had been suspended since November 2021.
In January, police conducted a search warrant at the funeral home after receiving a complaint from a family. The family stated that they purchased cremation services for a loved one by Barnett, but were not able to get a hold of him for several weeks after purchase.
During the search warrant, police allegedly found:
- Over a dozen containers of cremated remains
- Cremated remain containers with no visible identification tags
- Cremated remain containers opened
- Bodies in advanced stages of decomposition
- Bodies surrounded by garbage/furniture
- Bodies not stored in a temperature-controlled location