Police and council officers meet families in funeral home enquiry
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Police and council officers have met more than 160 families whose loved ones’ remains may be among human ashes discovered at a funeral home in Hull earlier this year.

In March, 35 bodies were recovered from the premises of Legacy Independent Funeral Directors along with the ashes of an unknown number of people.

While the bodies have now been identified, police said it was impossible to know to whom the ashes belonged, although 163 families of potential victims have been traced via the funeral home’s records.

Earlier this year forensic specialists said it would not be possible to extract DNA from the recovered ashes because of the high temperatures involved during cremation.

Thom Mcloughlin, the assistant chief constable of Humberside Police, said officers had made contact with families over the recent weeks prior to arranging meetings to discuss next steps.

McLoughlin said: “Some families may want to receive the ashes, and others may not, there is no right or wrong answer and the impact and affect it will have will differ for each individual family.”

A 46-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman, who were arrested on suspicion of prevention of a lawful and decent burial, fraud by false representation and fraud by abuse of position, have been released under investigation.

Solicitor advocate Paul Thompson said the situation developed when a whistleblower contacted the police to raise concerns about “the way bodies were stored”. He added the firm “certainly will not ever operate again”.

The families are calling for a permanent memorial for their loved ones, potentially in Hull’s Pickering Park, where they have been organising monthly candlelit vigils.

Karen Dry, who used Legacy Independent Funeral Directors when her parents died, told Sky News: “We need a permanent memorial – we need somewhere people can come and sit and reflect on their loved ones and families, somewhere that’s peaceful so that we know that they’re always resting.”

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