Funeral Home Owner Accused of Leaving 11 Bodies Stacked in Basement During Personal Crisis

The operator of a Lewiston, Maine, funeral home is apologizing after he allegedly left 11 bodies stored in a basement without refrigeration, according to his attorney, who says the man was struggling with a personal crisis, the Associated Press reported.

A letter from the attorney said Affordable Cremation Solutions owner Ken Kincer was in the throes of substance abuse, WMTW-TV reported. The letter added that the business owner's life was a "living nightmare" for the past year and a half.

The Maine Board of Funeral Services, which said it discovered the 11 unrefrigerated bodies stacked in the basement of the funeral home, shut down the business and suspended its funeral licenses in June.

The attorney representing the families suing Kincer said he sympathized with Kincer's plight but added that the families are the real victims in the case, the AP said. "I feel sorry for Mr. Kincer," Taylor Asen said. "He had a difficult year. We've all had a difficult year. Needless to say, that doesn't excuse his conduct over the months in which he was taking bodies that he wasn't able to care for."

John Clifford, Kincer's attorney, said Kincer resorted to excessive alcohol use while he endured a painful divorce and his sister went through cancer treatment. "He is deeply in the grip of depression and alcoholism," Clifford said.

His letter said Kincer regrets and apologizes for the pain and suffering he caused the families. "The death of a loved one is a sad and often times traumatic experience and the added grief that has come to them was certainly not his intention," Clifford wrote.

In a similar incident, a Nevada funeral home operator's license was suspended in July after stacked bodies were discovered outside of refrigeration. The Nevada Current reported that the Hites Funeral Home and Cremation Service will be without a license for six months.

Funeral services
A Maine funeral home operator who is accused of leaving bodies unattended without refrigeration has apologized to the affected families through his attorney. Above, a worker pushes the coffin after a funeral at the St. John Cemetery in Queens on June 5, 2020, in New York City. JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Investigators cited a public health violation because they found an odor of decomposition and the unrefrigerated bodies of 11 people in the basement.

The Board of Funeral Services is currently deciding whether to reinstate Kincer's operating license, the TV station reported.

The letter from his attorney was filed in court following a lawsuit brought by families of the deceased whose bodies were in Kincer's care.