Director of funeral home arrested in civil matter

Sunday, October 26, 2008

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The director of a mid-Missouri funeral home company that's under investigation for allegedly mishandling bodies has been jailed for allegedly failing to pay child support.

Court records show that Harold Warren Jr., 48, is $6,100 behind in payments to ex-wife Alisa Warren for support of the couple's three children. He also owes money on other terms in the couple's 2006 divorce in Boone County Circuit Court.

Harold Warren Jr. was the funeral director at Warren Funeral Chapel, succeeding his father in that position in February. The business, which operates in Columbia and Fulton, closed in late July after state inspectors reportedly found a woman's decaying body stored in an electrical room for 10 months without being embalmed or refrigerated.

Seven more decaying bodies were found a week later, and several families have said cremated ashes they received were not the remains of their loved ones or that bodies were embalmed rather than cremated, as required by contract.

The Missouri attorney general's office has sued the business.

Boone County sheriff's deputies arrested Warren on Thursday in the child support matter. No bond is set.

Judge Leslie Schneider had ordered Warren on Sept. 11 to pay $900 in child support, resume making monthly support payments of $600 and pay his wife's $1,500 attorney fees in addition to other terms.

It is unclear from the court record how many terms of the order Warren complied with.

Warren also allegedly failed to pay share of a home-equity loan on the home previously shared by the couple.

Warren told the court he didn't have enough funds to cover everything but that he would have more but more money in August after selling his business. As of Friday, however, the Warrens still owned Warren Funeral Chapel.

Court records indicate the Warrens have debt to Regions Bank totaling nearly $400,000 and are making payments under a Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan.

Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune,

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