Police probe into funeral directors and 'missing ashes' continues as search of Glasgow parlour concludes

15 May 2024, 14:11 | Updated: 15 May 2024, 16:39

Police have concluded their search of a Glasgow funeral parlour that is under investigation over the alleged mismanagement of human remains and funds.

The probe into A Milne Independent Funeral Directors comes amid a number of complaints, including one from a grieving daughter who said the ashes she had been given months earlier from the firm were the remains of a stranger and not of her mother.

A Milne's branch in Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire, is closed, while the Glasgow office was still registered as operating in March.

Police Scotland has described it as a "former funeral parlour".

In an update on Wednesday, the force said officers - including specialist search teams - carried out a "detailed examination" of the Glasgow premises between Friday 3 May and Tuesday 14 May.

Police Scotland said enquiries are ongoing to "establish any criminality" amid its probe into the "storage and return of cremated remains and allegations of financial misconduct".

Detective Inspector Gerry Shovlin, of Clydebank CID, said: "This is a very sensitive and emotive case and we recognise the upset and distress that families have experienced.

"Our investigation has been going on for several weeks now and will continue for some time, due to the level of enquiry that will need to be followed up.

"It is a complex inquiry that involves a number of agencies, but families can be reassured that the ashes of their loved ones are a priority and will be treated with the utmost respect."

Police have said they are fielding enquiries from people concerned about the investigation.

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The National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) has confirmed the business is subject to a disciplinary process and a hearing is due to be held this month after the trade body received a "number of complaints".

As a trade association, the NAFD has no statutory powers and regulates purely by consent, therefore expulsion from membership is the most severe penalty at its disposal.

A Milne Independent Funeral Directors was contacted for comment.