Batavia funeral director arrested, accused of keeping body for 10 months


(Photo by MARCO LONGARI/AFP via Getty Images)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A Batavia funeral director has been arrested after investigators say he held a human body at his business for 264 days.

The investigation started in January of 2019, when a relative of the deceased person filed a complaint with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, Michael Tomaszewski kept the body at Tomaszewski Funeral & Cremation Chapel on W. Main Street in Batavia from April 2018 to January 2019. The sheriff’s office says that violates state law, which calls for a body to be buried “within a reasonable time period.”

Investigators say Tomaszewski also illegally filed a death certificate falsely claiming the body was buried in a cemetery. The sheriff’s office says a proper burial has since taken place.

Tomaszewski is charged with violating NYS Public Health Law Section 4200, a misdemeanor, for his alleged failure to bury the body within a reasonable time period. He is charged with Offering a False Instrument for Filing, a class E felony, for allegedly filing a fake death certificate.

These new charges come four months after Tomaszewski was charged with taking money from customers for future funeral expenses, and never putting the money into trust accounts. State law requires that money to be put into trust accounts within 10 days.

Back in July, investigators said they believed Tomaszewski falsified documentation to make it look like trust accounts had been opened, when they had not. They said Tomaszewski also took money from customers for gravesites and headstones without ever buying them.

Police at the time said at least 93 customers were impacted.

Tomaszewski is scheduled to appear in court on December 3 in Batavia and on December 7 in Oakfield.

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