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Henderson funeral home shuts down, families left trying to claim loved ones' remains

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Posted at 10:17 PM, Aug 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-26 14:04:49-04

HENDERSON (KTNV) — WARNING: Some of the images associated with this story may be disturbing to some viewers.

The license has been suspended for a Henderson funeral home. Many folks, including a local woman we spoke with, are trying to figure out how to claim the remains of their loved ones. 13 Action News contacted the government agency in charge to get some answers.

"I was physically sick. I mean, I was just sick," said Dawn Bornheimer. She's already dealing with tragedy over the death of her granddaughter, Skye.

"She was born deceased," Bornheimer said.

Now she's dealing with disturbing images from Hites Funeral Home on West Sunset Road in Henderson. Pictures showing body bags clearly stacked on one another.

"Oh my God! What does that mean for me?" asked Bornheimer.

Hites currently has Skye's remains. Bornheimer says she called Hites Funeral Home and couldn't get any answers. So Bornheimer contacted 13 Action News.

We reached out to Hites, then we contacted the state. We found out Nevada's Funeral and Cemetery Services Board is citing the business for storing too many bodies and for too long. The funeral home and crematory's license is now suspended for the next six months.

"Obviously when you shut down a funeral home, you can't do that overnight," said Jennifer Kandt, the executive director of the Funeral and Cemetery Services Board.

"When I was there on July 22, I was told there were approximately 230 decedents in their care," said Kandt.

Kandt says that number has gone down since Hites isn't taking any more bodies from the coroner's office. She says Hites Funeral Home has until this Friday to submit a list of all their deceased.

The funeral home is now concentrating on getting remains delivered to loved ones.

"They have 30 days to handle disposition for individuals where they have a signed and paid contract," said Kandt.

All other families will be contacted about transferring remains to another funeral home. But if you've reached out to Hites and can't get the help you're looking for, Kandt says to contact her office.

"I can't guarantee that we'll have all the answers or information that they want, but for things that we can answer, we absolutely will try to do that," she said.

GETTING HELP

That's exactly what Bornheimer has done. She contacted Kandt and says she finally feels like she's getting the help she needs.
"She's going to make some phone calls for me today... Jennifer has made me feel like she's going to do something and help me," said Bornheimer.

Hites will undergo an inspection after six months in order to see if they're fit to reopen. You can contact the Funeral and Cemetery Services Board at nvfuneralboard@fb.nv.gov or by phone at (775) 825-5535.

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