Friends defend funeral director, son accused of corpse abuse - News, Weather & Sports

Friends defend funeral director, son accused of corpse abuse

Henryville, IN -

By Shayla Reaves - bio | email

HENRYVILLE, IN (WAVE) - The investigation continues at the R.D. Pyke Funeral Home in Henryville, Indiana. Forty-two-year-old Richard Pyke and his son, 19-year-old Richard Bradley Pyke, were each arrested and charged with one count of theft after police officials made a grisly discovery on the property.

"They located two human bodies and several animal carcasses," Indiana State Police Spokesperson Jerry Goodin said.

Findings also included three dogs inside a freezer and seven to eight others prepared for cremation.

Mike Meyer with the Clark County Health Department provided details.

"They had badly decomposed, "Meyer said. "Insects had started to work on the bodies."

A concerned caller tipped off the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency. Investigators conducted an on-site inspection and immediately contacted ISP.

"There was a distinct smell coming from the facility," Compliance Director Larry Harvey said Thursday.

Phyllis Hilton said she took her dogs Angie and Buster to R.D. Pyke Funeral Home when they died.

"I did want their bodies being treated respectfully rather than just thrown in the corner or some place," Hilton said. "They were part of the family, they were like my kids and I loved them dearly."

Indiana State Police officials tell us they have received a steady stream of calls from families wanting to know if they ashes they received are really their pet or relative at all.

Richard Bradley Pyke posted bail in Clark County.

"Some of the accusations are true," Bradley Pyke said. "And a lot of them are not. A lot of them are just people trying to ruin the name and ruin the business of a good man."

Friends of 42-year-old Richard Pyke, who was still in custody Thursday, weighed in on the investigation.

"I think it's a bunch of bull to start with," Henryville Resident George Cook said. "And he is one of the finest people in this community. He's done more for this community than anybody here."

"Rick knows I love him," said Leighda Stein said. "He knows he is a wonderful friend of mine. To the rest of the world, I'd say look into the facts before you make judgment."

Officials tell us there are three types of licenses involved: a funeral home license, funeral director license and a license to cremate. In this case, the IPLA said R.D. Pyke Funeral Home never had a license to cremate and the funeral director license of Richard Pyke is involved in a 90-day suspension.

Another licensed director was affiliated with the property until withdrawing their license 10 days ago. IPLA officials would not provide further details on the identity of that individual.

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