Lasting effects for victims of Johnstown funeral director

Erik Anderson’s mother wasn’t cremated, as the family thought. Her body was one of the ones found in the garage at the former Barnett Funeral Home.

[anvplayer video=”5174263″ station=”998132″]

Erik’s mother, Shirley Anderson of Johnstown, was a devout Christian who read her bible every day, taught Sunday school, held bible studies, spoke at a nursing home. She trusted Brian Barnett. Both had pastors in their families.

Her grieving son Erik and his wife Jacqueline wrote in their victim impact statement, “when the remaining parent dies and you realize you’re alone, you find solace in knowing that the undertaker is treating your mom with respect and dignity.”

However, that peace was stripped from the family.

[anvplayer video=”5174260″ station=”998132″]

“I’m just horrified that my mom was treated this way,” said Anderson’s daughter, Andrea Healy.

Former Johnstown funeral home director Brian Barnett pleaded guilty last month to six counts of the 37 count indictment, including concealment of a human corpse and grand larceny.

These are cases involving 17 people who passed away, and all of their families.

Families like Shirley Anderson’s.

“It’s a horrible thing to mess with this many people’s end-of-life experiences that they’re always going to remember what happened,” said Healy.

Erik and Jackie wrote, “It is a shame that Shirley led a good, true and honest life, to be forgotten and disrespected like trash in death at the hands of Mr. Barnett. Which leads to one last question: in 2015, Erik’s father Frank Anderson was handled by Mr. Barnett. Did we in fact get Erik’s father’s ashes?”

Barnett’s sentencing is scheduled for June.