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The original item was published from 8/14/2020 8:38:21 AM to 8/14/2020 8:59:24 AM.

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District Attorney

Posted on: August 14, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Andrew Scheid Charged with Abuse of Corpses, Falsifying Info on Death Certificates

AndrewScheid

The Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office, in conjunction with the Manor Township Police Department, announce the filing of charges against Andrew T. Scheid, owner of Andrew T. Scheid Funeral Home.

In recent months, police and our office investigated actions and events involving Scheid and his work as director of funeral home locations on Blue Rock Road (Manor Township) and South Prince Street (Lancaster city).

The result of the collaborative investigation is the filing of eight charges: four felony counts of tampering with public records/information and four misdemeanor counts of abuse of a corpse.

The charges regard actions in December 2019 and January 2020 at 320 Blue Rock Road – specifically, Scheid’s handling of bodies at the funeral home, and for making knowingly false entries on death certificates.

Manor Township police Detective Tricia Mazur and Lancaster County Detective Brent Shultz were lead investigators and co-affiants of the charges. Charges were filed Thursday morning, when Scheid surrendered at the Manor Township Police Department.

District Judge Keller arraigned Scheid and set bail at $150,000 unsecured.

Regarding a separate investigation conducted by East Lampeter Township police Lt. Rob Eachus, Scheid is also being charged with a misdemeanor count of bad checks. Scheid provided a $7,500 check to purchase a burial vault in December from Evans Eagle Burial Vaults. Scheid wrote the check with insufficient funds in the attached account, and, after the check returned as insufficient, still did not make good on the payment.

Scheid, 49, is presumed innocent of all charges.

First Assistant District Attorney Todd E. Brown and Assistant District Attorney Gregory Seiders consulted with police during the investigation.

The investigation and charging process was a joint effort involving comprehensive review of numerous reports provided by relatives of the decedents and other agencies.

“The thorough investigation revealed these eight serious charges as violations of criminal statutes,” Lancaster County District Attorney Heather Adams said Thursday. “During this investigation we examined dozens of complaints that revealed deficient business practices and poor business etiquette that understandably caused the decedents’ families frustration and further grief. However, it was determined that the conduct did not rise to the level of criminal actions.”

Also Thursday, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced a civil lawsuit seeking to obtain restitution for consumers of Andrew T. Scheid Funeral Home services. An investigation revealed Scheid failed to properly care for deceased Pennsylvanians and did not perform essential services that loved ones paid for, such as cremations or preparing a body for a funeral.

THE CHARGES

The abuse of corpse charges regard four bodies recovered Jan. 14 from the funeral home on Blue Rock Road. It was discovered those bodies had been at the funeral home for several days (between four and 17). Upon recovery, the bodies were not embalmed, sealed or refrigerated – as required by the Funeral Director Board regulations – and were found in various, advanced stages of decomposition such that it would outrage ordinary family sensibilities.

The tampering charges regard false entries Scheid made on death certificates which were filed with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Health Statistics. On those certificates, Scheid knowingly made false entries on death certificates to create the impression that his handling of the remains was in compliance with Pennsylvania State Funeral Board Regulations.

The charges and respective conduct are outlined below in further detail.

INVESTIGATIVE PROCESS

Charges were filed in instances where evidence was found to support violations of criminal statutes.

As for the bodies recovered in January, services were ultimately performed by other funeral homes.

The comprehensive investigative effort included reviews of dozens of reports and allegations, many of which were determined to be civil in nature and did not rise to the level of criminal acts.

Among the agencies we consulted with during the process were the Pennsylvania Department of State, Pennsylvania Department of Health, Pennsylvania Bureau of Vital Statistics, and Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division.

As a result of that lengthy review, the charges filed are what, we believe, can be proven beyond reasonable doubt based on the evidence and applicable law.

Scheid’s funeral director license is suspended indefinitely (but for no less than three years), per order from the Department of State Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs.

(Explanations of all charges are below.)

TAMPERING CHARGES

Glenn Creasy (Died Dec. 7, 2019)

Scheid completed and signed a death certificate provided to the Bureau of Health Statistics and Registries stating Creasy’s body was cremated at Charles Evans Crematory on Dec. 14, 2019. Police determined Creasy was not actually cremated until Dec. 29, 2019 and at Fairview Crematory in Allentown.

Stanford Winebarger (Died Dec. 12, 2019)

Scheid completed and signed a death certificate provided to the Bureau of Health Statistics and Registries stating Winebarger’s body was cremated at Charles Evans Crematory on Dec. 19, 2019. Police determined Winebarger was not actually cremated until Dec. 29, 2019 and at Fairview Crematory in Allentown.

James Dommel (Died Dec. 12, 2019)

Scheid completed and signed a death certificate provided to the Bureau of Health Statistics and Registries stating Dommel’s body was cremated at Charles Evans Crematory on Dec. 19, 2019. Police determined Dommel was not actually cremated until Dec. 28, 2019 and at Fairview Crematory in Allentown.

Donald Mahoney (Died Dec. 28, 2019)

Scheid completed and signed a death certificate provided to the Bureau of Health Statistics and Registries stating Mahoney’s body was cremated at Fairview Crematory on Dec. 30, 2019. Mahoney’s body was not embalmed when recovered from 320 Blue Rock Road on Jan. 14.

 

ABUSE OF CORPSE CHARGES

Donald Mahoney (Died Dec. 28, 2019)

Mahoney’s body, recovered from 320 Blue Rock Road on Jan. 14, was not embalmed and had not been refrigerated or sealed, which resulted in advanced decomposition.

Kenneth Rothfus Jr. (Died Jan. 2, 2020)

Rothfus’ body, recovered from 320 Blue Rock Road on Jan. 14, was not embalmed and had not been refrigerated or sealed, which resulted in advanced decomposition.

Virginia Taylor (Died Jan. 4, 2020)

Taylor’s body, recovered from 320 Blue Rock Road on Jan. 14, was not embalmed and had not been refrigerated or sealed, which resulted in advanced decomposition.

Charmaine Antonucci (Died Jan. 4, 2020)

Antonucci’s body, recovered from 320 Blue Rock Road on Jan. 14, was not embalmed and had not been refrigerated or sealed, which resulted in advanced decomposition.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041; bhambright@co.lancaster.pa.us; Twitter: @BrettHambright

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