The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

State News

February 1, 2013

Mortician facing charges in macabre case

CONESTOGA — A Pennsylvania funeral home director is charged with multiple counts of theft by deception and abuse of a corpse after investigators say they found decomposing bodies during a search of the business.

Officials in Lancaster County announced the charges Friday against 41-year-old Benjamin Siar, owner of Gundel Funeral Home in Conestoga.

There is a warrant for his arrest and authorities are urging him to surrender.

District Attorney Craig Stedman said several families paid Siar thousands of dollars for cremation services that weren't provided.

Stedman says police conducted a search at the funeral home Thursday and found four decomposing bodies, including that of a 2-year-old girl police say was beaten to death earlier this year.

Stedman says more charges will be filed as the investigation continues.

 

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