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 said he can't stop thinking about how poorly she was treated in death.
A grand jury indicted two men -- Lawrence Robert Meadows and Roderick Mitchell Cummings -- with desecration of human remains after prosecutors said they left Mary Alice Pitts Moore in unrefrigerated rooms under blankets and surrounded by air fresheners for nearly three years at First Family Funeral Home's locations first in Greenwood and later in Spartanburg.
Arrest warrants against the men said Fred Parker Jr. and his family owed them money for Moore's funeral, so they didn't cremate her remains and return them as requested.
But Parker told The Index-Journal of Greenwood that 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.
"I never did get to see them no more, from day one to day two. 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," Parker told the newspaper.
Meadows and Cummings, who are each 40, face from one to 10 years if convicted. Parker has also sued them in civil court, along with First Family Funeral Home and two other employees. The funeral home has lost its license, according to state records.
Meadows lost his personal funeral license in April 2015 in an unrelated fraud case and Cummins has never had a South Carolina funeral license, according to state records.
"We're living one day at the time. I'll be glad when this is over," Parker said. "I will be glad when it's all behind us. We've been struggling ever since. Emotionally, I just ain't right in the head anymore."
Parker said he is still dealing with the funeral home treating his late wife in a way that most people wouldn't treat a dog.
"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."
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