JOHNSTOWN, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Local funeral director Brian Barnett is expected to be charged after human remains and decomposed bodies were found in his business.
This comes after detectives found more than a dozen unmarked cremated remains and several bodies on the property. Police said all the remains are at the Fulton County Coroner’s Office.
“I do have ashes, however, I’m questioning do I have my husband’s ashes,” said Lori Trigg.
Trigg is questioning after two years how Ehle Barnett Funeral Home handled her husband’s services. She is looking for peace of mind.
Lori’s husband Shawn died in March 2020 from a motorcycle accident. She chose Barnett and his funeral home because she was familiar with his services. Lori thought he would steer her in the right direction, and looking back, she says things don’t add up.
“I think more and more things come to mind of how strange things really were during his arrangments and actual service.”
At least 18 created remains were found inside the funeral home, said Johnstown Police Chief David Gilbo. Brian Barnett, the owner of the funeral home, was interviewed after a search warrant was issued for the property.
Gilbo said they are waiting for an arrest warrant from the court for Barnett and they have a list of planned charges against him.
The Johnstown Police Department held a press conference on the Ehle and Barnett Funeral Home investigation. You can watch the conference in the player below.
- Three counts of concealment of a corpse (felony)
- Grand larceny (felony)
- Two counts of endangering the welfare of a child (misdemeanor)
- Operating a funeral home without a license
- Four counts of operating as a funeral director without a license
- Three counts of failure to incinerate or bury within a reasonable amount of time of death
Police said more charges are possible. They are also digging into Barnett’s financials to see if there could be charges there as well.
After Trigg decided to sit down with us, she decided to with down the Johnson police. She told News10 that she wanted to share her concerns about her husband and his ashes.
While Lori’s husband’s death happened back in 2020, police are asking families who did business with the funeral home in 2021 to come forward as well.
“We are looking for family members that may think their family remains have been left at the funeral home for some reason or someone didn’t pick them up. Please just reach out to us,” said Gilbo.
Johnstown Police are waiting for an arrest warrant to be signed for Barnett and for a judge to be selected for the case.
Johnstown police and the Coroner’s Office are also working with the New York State Police Forensic Unit to identify the remains.