LA City Attorney Mike Feuer accuses Sun Valley Funeral Home of leaving human remains to rot

By KCAL/KCBS Staff

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LOS ANGELES (KCAL) – Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer has charged a Sun Valley funeral home owner after he allegedly failed to properly handle the human remains of at least 11 people, including infants and another that would be less than 10 years old.

The bodies were reportedly found in various stages of decomposition and mummification, after several families filed complaints against the funeral home.

Feuer’s office filed 22 felony charges against Mark B. Allen, the owner of Mark B. Allen Mortuary and Cremation Services, two for each body.

He faces up to 11 years in prison and more than $100,000 in fines. The funeral home has since closed.

A series of investigations were launched after the complaints were initially filed; The Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office, and the State Bureau of Consumer Affairs’ Cemetery and Funeral Office have all launched investigations.

Reports say officials have visited the funeral home multiple times since 2020, where they located 11 bodies they say were not receiving proper care. Court documents also said officials noticed a swarm of flies circling the property.

“The smell from inside the facility was so strong that officials could detect it outside the facility,” Feuer said. “How would you feel if it was your beloved?”

An investigator who visited the property in 2020 detailed the discovery of an “unlicensed makeshift cold storage unit” that was operating 20 degrees warmer than the industry standard.

Apparently the same investigator returned seven months later, where they reported the smell of rotting bodies – but no case was brought forward at the time, after learning the LAPD were also investigating.

State records indicate that at one point the Los Angeles County coroner had to remove several bodies that were extremely poorly maintained, leading the state to determine that Allen “posed a serious and immediate to the public.

They learned that Allen did not have a permit to cremate bodies outside his apartment building, his permit having been suspended shortly thereafter and then completely revoked in July 2021.

In a statement, Feuer clarified that each of the charges was “serious enough, that each time an individual body was not cared for properly as we claim, there is a risk of one year in prison and 10,000 dollar fine”.

“We are fighting to get justice for these families in this incredibly sad and shocking situation,” Feuer continued. “Eleven people died, including very young children, and the funeral director hired to compassionately prepare the bodies for burial would have simply left them to rot, lacking the decency and dignity that all of our loved ones deserve. Their deaths are a tragedy, and this alleged monstrous mistreatment is a second tragedy. »

CBS reporters inquired with the State of California in hopes of finding out why it took so long to revoke Allen’s license, to which they responded:

“Consumer protection is a priority for the Cemetery and Funeral Office. In general, the circumstances of each case/investigation are unique, as is the timeframe of the investigative process that the Bureau must follow in order to gather evidence to initiate disciplinary action against a licensee.

In this case, based on the outcome of a thorough investigation, the Bureau requested an Interim Suspension Order to temporarily suspend the license of Mark B Allen Mortuary and Cremation Services while preparing formal disciplinary action. The Bureau later revoked the license.

The Bureau reminds consumers to always check a funeral service provider’s license before requesting services or engaging in any business. Anyone with a complaint about a cemetery and funeral home licensee is encouraged to file a complaint at cfb.ca.gov or (800) 952-5210.

Allen is said to have moved out of state and lives elsewhere with his mother.

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