JOHNSTOWN, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A search warrant executed by Johnstown Police Departments leads detectives to find open containers of remains and bodies in a detached garage at Ehle and Barnett Funeral Home January 14. The NYS Bureau of Funeral Directing under the Department of Health told News10 ABC the funeral home had not been registered for legal operations as of June 30, 2021.

The New York State Bureau of Funeral Directing oversees licensed funeral homes under the Department of Health. On January 17, the bureau told News10 ABC that Ehle and Barnett Funeral Home’s director, Brian Barnett, had his funeral director’s license suspended on November 30, 2021, for operating an unlicensed firm.

However, new information provided to News10 from the bureau revealed Barnett had been practicing illegally for longer than that. 

“Ehle and Barnett Funeral Home was not registered with the Department as of June 30th, 2021, and there was no other director with an active license at the firm,” the NYS Bureau of Funeral Directing said. “Funeral firms must be registered with the Department and must be operated under the supervision of a licensed and currently registered funeral director.”

According to the bureau’s website, the department regulates all activities related to the business and practice of funeral directing for more than 1800 funeral firms, 4000 practitioners, 90 registered residents (individuals in training), and 400 funeral directing students in New York state.

The overseeing body also provides licenses and registrations to funeral directors facilitates inspections and registrations of funeral firms.