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No one charged for mortuary mix-up

Posted at 4:19 PM, Feb 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-24 20:43:23-05

A mortuary owner accused of covering up a body mix-up at his business will not face criminal charges.

The Greene County Prosecutor's Office issued a statement saying it will not charge Brian Simmons, owner of Springfield Mortuary, in a mix-up that led to three bodies being laid to rest in the wrong graves.

The 41 Action News investigators first uncovered the mix-up in September after a former employee of Springfield Mortuary came forward with information about the swap.

The employee spoke exclusively with 41 Action News, saying two bodies were mistakenly taken to the wrong funeral homes. She said when her boss, Simmons, realized a mistake was made, he ordered her and two other employees to cremate a third body in an attempt to cover it up.

Simmons has denied the former employee's claims.

When the 41 Action News investigators took the information to the families involved, they ordered an exhumation. DNA testing confirmed the mix-up.

The Greene County prosecutor writes, "It is clear from this investigation that the business practices at Springfield Mortuary lacked adequate control measures. However, lack of adequate controls is not criminal. It is my conclusion that there is not sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Simmons knowingly provided false information for the death certificates."

The attorney for the families involved told the 41 Action News investigators that they plan to file a civil lawsuit against Simmons.

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Jessica McMaster can be reached at jessica.mcmaster@kshb.com

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