Son pays for father’s funeral service, feels like he let family down after his father’s remains are still missing

Another family is accusing an embattled Jacksonville funeral director at Marion Graham Mortuaries of neglecting their loved one’s remains and not providing quality services.

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Elliott Graham was arrested Friday in Orange County after being accused of stealing, giving families the wrong ashes, and abandoning the mortuary with three bodies left inside.

Dale Williams told News4JAX that he and his wife prepaid about $8,000 to $9,000 for his father’s funeral in 2021 because his father was sick at the time.

“Very hard-working, diligent man. He was also a minister. Just say a very great, great man,” Williams said about his father.

Williams said there were several things wrong at his father’s funeral in July 2022, stating that his father was put in the wrong casket with his clothes askew and his mouth left slightly open. He even said the mortuary did not provide the correct funeral programs.

“Embarrassing, frustrating,” Williams said. “You would almost think that we hadn’t paid ahead of time the way it turned out.”

Williams said his father’s remains were supposed to be cremated the week after the service, but he received no updates from the funeral home —and his father’s remains are still missing nearly two years later.

“I don’t know if that has taken place. I don’t know where my father is,” he said.

Williams explained how he texted Graham in September 2023 to follow up on an update.

“I could tell he was reading the texts. I could see that but not responding,” Williams said. “So, I don’t where my father’s body is. This is crazy. It’s like being in limbo. It’s like being a failure as a son, something you’re responsible to take care of for your parent. I definitely feel like I’m letting the rest of my family down.”

It wasn’t until news broke about the investigation on the mortuary and Graham’s search that Willaims learned he wasn’t the only one having issues with the mortuary.

Graham now faces charges including grand theft and improper preservation of a body.

Williams reached out to the state and hired a law firm in hopes of finding answers as to what happened to his father’s remains, but he’s still unsure what will come out of those efforts.

“I’m not positive that it will,” Williams said.

Investigators wearing surgical gloves were seen searching the funeral home, which was deemed a crime scene. State investigators can spend weeks developing a case that can then be shared with local prosecutors.

Williams had this message to share with Graham.

“Just be honest, come clean. Let us know what’s going on. Let us know what happened,” Williams said.

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