BATH, N.Y. – A man's decomposed body was discovered inside a sealed casket at an upstate New York funeral home that was shut down two months ago, authorities said Wednesday.
An auctioneer found the body Tuesday along with the cremated remains of 12 other people while cataloging items to be sold at the Seager-Jones Funeral Home in Bath, Steuben County sheriff's investigators said.
The funeral home and a second one in nearby Savona owned by David Seager were closed in May when officials realized they weren't registered with the state.
The remains weren't found until this week because Seager wouldn't allow a search of the funeral home and authorities had no legal basis to obtain a search warrant, the sheriff's office said.
Authorities began an investigation in April after receiving a complaint that a woman's body had been improperly stored at the Savona home for three years before burial on April 19.
Seager, 71, was charged last month with scheme to defraud and violating the law concerning timely burial of cadavers. He was accused of transferring more than $175,000 from prepaid accounts into a personal savings account.
Eric Tyner, a senior investigator with the sheriff's department, said information about the latest discovery may be presented to a grand jury and could lead to additional charges.
The funeral homes were seized by the county for nonpayment of taxes. The auction proceeds will help repay more than 80 people who prepaid for funeral services.
A working phone number could not be found for Seager and calls to his lawyer were not immediately returned Wednesday.