Henry County

Funeral home accused of giving grieving parents dirt instead of baby's ashes now under investigation

HENRY COUNTY — The state is now investigating a Henry County funeral home accused of sending dirt to a family instead of their baby’s ashes.

Channel 2′s Michael Seiden was at the State Capitol Friday, where he spoke to the Secretary of State’s office.

Seiden confirmed that Brad Raffensperger’s office is investigating the allegations against Stan Henderson and Sons Mortuary in Stockbridge and as soon as they finish, they will turn over their findings to the state funeral board. From there, board members will review the findings and decide if they should be sent to a local district attorney for potential criminal charges.

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“Disgusting. Horrifying,” Gabriel Sterling, Chief Operating Officer at the Secretary of State’s Office said. “I mean you would think on a human level people don’t do stuff like that but that’s part of the reason why we have these kinds of regulations to protect consumers in what’s arguably the most vulnerable, most emotionally fragile time they’re ever going to face.”

Earlier this week, Seiden spoke to Alexus Taylor and Jalen Matthews, of Valdosta, who hired the funeral home to cremate their 1-month-old baby, Josiah. They thought they had received the ashes when they got a call that shook their world.


“Like two weeks later, that’s when we got the call and you know, that Josiah was still at the crematory,” Taylor said.

Then, new allegations surfaced that at least five additional families who hired Henderson were also missing their loved ones ashes before being contacted by the crematory.

Seiden has reached out to Henderson numerous times and stopped by the funeral home, but so far, he’s not responded.

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Sterling said Henderson’s funeral home has been on probation since Feb. 2022 for operating without a licensed funeral director.

“One thing they should always be aware of when you’re getting any kind of cremation, there’s always going to be a certificate of authenticity that has to be a part of the chain of custody,” Sterling said.

Seiden spoke to Holly Wilson, who said she and her family paid $2,500 to Stan Henderson and Sons Mortuary to handle the funeral and cremation of their loved one, Rodney Eric. Two months later, Wilson said they are not even sure if they received his real ashes.

“This is an experience that has devastated my family,” Wilson said. “We need a death certificate, and we still haven’t received a death certificate. My son is very, very upset, because he does not even think that is his father.”

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