Funeral Home Probe Turns to Director's Finances
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The Steuben County Sheriff's Office continues its investigation of a funeral director who operates in the villages of Bath and Savona. A cease and desist order was ordered Monday against David “Jim” Seager who owns the Seager Funeral Home in Savona and the Seager-Jones Funeral Home in Bath.
The order issued by the sheriff’s office and the New York State Department of Public Health came as investigators received a complaint in April that Seager had improperly stored a body in the garage of his funeral home in Savona.
"The sister to that deceased had passed away,” said Sheriff Joel Ordway. “And (there were) just some questions about (how) she wanted to be buried with her sister and he said, 'Well we can do that.' Then it came up that she died three years ago and (he said) 'well I still have her' and that's where it all came from. They contacted us and we got involved."
Sheriff Ordway said the investigation into the improperly stored body uncovered other possible illegal activity that involves Seager's finances.
Ordway said Seager has been operating without a license for some time.
Since the funeral homes were shut down, authorities said they have received calls from more than 80 people expressing concerned about pre-paid accounts they have with Seager.
"We did seize his funds, what he has, and now we're gaining the information from the folks that are calling us and what they gave him,” Ordway explained. “We'll see if those numbers reconcile. And if they don't, there's going to be some issues."
Those who know Seager say he is a good person and well-respected. However, they said the 72-year-old has had some personal issues in recent years and is in poor health. A note on the door of Seager's Savona home says he was taken to Corning Hospital on Tuesday.
Neighbors also pointed out that Seager spent a lot of money caring for his cancer-stricken wife who passed away about a year and a half ago.
"He's done a lot of good things for a lot of people in Savona and the area,” said Mary Helen Joint, who said she has known Seager for many years. “So I feel very badly that things have come to this. But I think there must be a reason that he didn't have any control over."
Ordway said no charges have been filed against Seager. He said several state and federal agencies are assisting in the investigation. Steuben County Sheriff's Office