Mary Alice Pitts Moore was finally laid to rest three years after her family thought that they had buried her. Her family is suing First Family Funeral Home, located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, for letting her body decompose in a locked, unrefrigerated room. According to Associated Press, Moore’s embalmed body was found on a cloth-covered board in February this year. The room was heavily fragranced in an attempt to disguise the stench from the rotting corpse.
An in-depth report by The Post and Courier, reveals that Moore had a funeral at their local church in April 2015. Her common-law husband, Fred Parker Jr., and son, Taras, were both shocked to find out that their mother had never been cremated and was in fact at the funeral home that they had paid to take care of her remains.
Moore died during a medical procedure, and a family member had recommended the funeral home. Little did they know that First Family’s license had been revoked even before they accepted the body. Everything went smoothly until father and son went to collect her ashes. The local funeral home was never open and they made countless phone calls in vain. They waited years for the ashes.
“I just thought she would be in a better place somewhere.”
The funeral home has a sketchy history with its license already being revoked in 2015. The state found that First Family funeral home had committed forgery to claim funds to a dead person’s life insurance. However, the facility still carried on with business. In fact, NBC’s Today shot an insert with co-owner Lawrence Meadows at the funeral home where he showed off his office and a casket display. Even then, Moore’s badly decomposing body was lying in close proximity.
Taras Parker and his father have taken legal action against First Family. They filed a lawsuit in March 2018, but progress has been slow. A coroner told Parker and his son the truth when an ex-employee approached the authorities and told them about the decomposing body kept in a locked room. Three years after Moore’s death, her body was in such a poor state that it took two weeks to positively identify her remains.
First Family’s funeral license has been suspended, and they may face criminal charges pending an investigation by the authorities. The funeral home, in turn, has asked for the Parkers’ lawsuit to be dismissed.
Moore’s remains were cremated in the spring by another funeral home, and her ashes now grace their trailer park home.