When you choose a funeral home, you trust your loved one is in good hands. A family says their experience at West Funeral Home on East Ninth Avenue in Munhall was anything but that. Now, the funeral director, 74-year-old Michael Aldrich, is criminally charged with abuse of a corpse.
Police say Aldrich told a family he cremated their loved one for $3,000, but instead, court documents say he left the body unrefrigerated and rotting for eight days.
The family says they learned about this because they found another funeral home to hold the services for their loved one for less cost and they asked to transfer the body. The other funeral home director came to pick up the body and when the garage door in the back of West Funeral Home opened up, that person told police they smelled something horrible and knew something was wrong.
The new funeral director was forced to call the family and tell them their loved one was unrecognizable and the body was in an extreme state of decomposition. The funeral director says she was told the refrigerator hadn’t even been plugged in.
“If he did that, what did he do with other bodies we don’t even know about?,” neighbor Leslie Clifford asked. “You trust funeral homes. Even though a person has passed away, they need that respect. Even if they’re alive or dead, that respect stays there.”
We knocked on the doors of Aldrich’s funeral home and went to Aldrich’s home to get answers for the victim’s family, but he was nowhere to be found.
“With this, it’s another thing they have to overcome,” Clifford added.
Aldrich is facing one misdemeanor charge of abuse of a corpse. He will have a preliminary hearing on Jan. 4, 2023.“What else was he capable of doing?” Neighbors are sickened after a funeral home director was criminally charged with abuse of a corpse. On 11 News at 5 and 6 p.m., what court documents say he’s accused of doing with a family’s loved one.
3 teen girls charged in fight at Aliquippa High School; mother of alleged victim speaks out Pool business destroyed in massive fire in Harrison Township; residents allowed to return Family grieving man shot, killed while sitting on front porch in Wilkinsburg VIDEO: Police warn of tech support scam as residents fall victim DOWNLOAD the Channel 11 News app for breaking news alerts