GREENWOOD, S.C. — The husband of a South Carolina woman whose body authorities said was left inside a funeral home to rot for almost three years says he can’t stop thinking about how poorly she was treated in death.
A grand jury indicted Lawrence Robert Meadows and Roderick Mitchell Cummings with desecration of human remains after prosecutors said they left the body of Mary Alice Pitts Moore in unrefrigerated rooms under blankets and surrounded by air fresheners at First Family Funeral Home’s locations — first in Greenwood and later in Spartanburg.
Fred Parker Jr., who was married to Moore for 38 years, says he talked to the people at First Family Funeral Home once after his wife’s March 2015 death and never heard from them again after her body was prepared for a viewing for a Celebration of Life service.
“Someone, a private investigator, called and she said I just need to ask you a few questions and the next thing I know, the coroner came and met me in Saluda and they told us,” Parker said. “And it’s been messed up ever since. You wouldn’t want to do a dog that bad.”
According to arrest warrants, Cummings and Meadows kept the body because Moore’s family didn’t pay their entire bill.
Parker told The Index-Journal of Greenwood the funeral home never told him he owed money or gave any reason for why they held on to Moore’s remains instead of cremating her as promised.
“I never did get to see them no more, from day one to day two,” Parker told the newspaper. “All he did was take $1,100. My daughter said she gave him $300 and I didn’t know anything about this until this came up. He never did try to contact me or anything, no nothing.”
According to the paper, Parker sued Cummings and Meadows in civil court, along with First Family Funeral Home. Earlier this month, the funeral home’s license was revoked.
According to state records, Meadows lost his personal funeral license in April 2015 in an unrelated fraud case and Cummings never had a South Carolina funeral license.
Meadows and Cummings face up to 10 years and a $5,000 fine if convicted.
“I’m still toting her picture in my wallet. I had to stop looking at it. She was a good woman. That’s all I can say,” he said. “Man, if I could get her back, oh Lord. That’s my heart. That’s my heart.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.