Family speaks about experience at Johnstown funeral home that is under investigation
JOHNSTOWN – When beloved Alice Benedict passed away in 2020, it was devastating for her family.
However, they say their terrible grief and loss was made even worse by a horrible experience at the Ehle and Barnett Funeral Home in Johnstown that included a late obituary, broken promises, many mistakes, and no-shows.
"We were set up to have an appointment on Tuesday morning out there. The doors were locked. I couldn’t get in. Again, I waited and waited and waited – and I’m talking hours," said Benedict’s daughter Tami Brown.
When it was time for the service, the family walked in, and they say they were horrified to see owner Brian Barnett still doing her hair and makeup haphazardly, giving them no time to say goodbye.
"There was makeup that he was using, it was inside the casket, it was up on the lid of the casket, on the material," said Brown. "My niece literally had to go over and tell him please stop working on her grandmother, please walk away, people were coming in."
It’s a funeral home that used to have a good reputation.
However, last week, Johnstown police say they found decomposing human remains among stored furniture, and two more in the garage, as well as containers of cremated remains, some identified, some not.
Police say owner Brian Barnett’s funeral director license had been suspended since November. Police say charges are pending.
Brown is not involved in that case, but she says she is grieving right along with those families.
"And when I heard about those families, my heart just broke. I pray for them all the time. I’m so sorry because if I think what I went through was traumatic, what they’re going through is worse. My heart goes out to each and every one of them. It’s devastating."