The Huffington Post Andy Campbell First Posted: 03/22/12 02:23 PM ET Updated: 03/22/12 03:55 PM ET
A 76-year-old Missouri woman's corpse was found in a chapel basement and buried on Friday -- more than a year after she died.
Olga Beanblossom's body was embalmed and wrapped in a sheet when she died in her home state in October 2010. The partially mummified body was then transferred to James D. Memorial Chapel in Springfield, Ill., where it was left in the basement until March 16 of this year, according to the State Journal-Register.
State regulators are now investigating whether the funeral home violated professional guidelines after its owner left the body unburied because he wasn't paid for the service.
Authorities were tipped off to the body's location last week. The paper reported that no crimes were committed, and a state official said there are no rules mandating that a funeral home owner bury a body in a certain time period.
But that doesn't make it right, said Sangamon County Coroner Cinda Edwards, who removed the corpse from the basement on Friday. The handling of Beanblossom's body was "very disturbing and very sad. ... Definitely an ethical breach of massive proportions," Edwards told the paper.
The funeral home's owner, David McClendon, maintained that he wasn't to blame for the situation. He told the paper that the Beanblossom's lawyer -- who was supposed to make arrangements for the burial and pay McClendon -- became ill and died before the process was finalized.
McClendon said he didn't want to eat the cost of Beanblossom's burial, so he left her in the basement.
"You can only eat so much," he told the paper. "I've done not a damn thing wrong."
Beanblossom was buried next to her husband on a cemetery plot in Girard, Ill., on Friday.
Sadly, it isn't the only time an embalmed corpse has been neglected for years.
In January, a storage unit worker found the dead body of a grandmother in one of his rented units. It had been left there accidentally by the woman's family for as long as 17 years.