Murder Victim's Body Misplaced After Funeral

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Mansfield Police are investigating how a murder victim's body was misplaced after his funeral.

Robert Daley, 52, was murdered in Columbus on March 9th.

Daley worked in Columbus but lived in Mansfield with his wife.

One week after the murder, Daley's family held a funeral at New Beginnings Full Gospel Baptist Church on Marion Avenue in Mansfield. Investigators said the man who coordinated Daley's funeral was not properly licensed.

"A licensed Funeral Director can do embalming. Apparently, if you're not a licensed funeral facility, you can't conduct funerals," Mansfield Police Detective Bill Bushong told 10TV's Jason Frazer.

Police said the suspects coordinated the funeral anyways.

Police said Daley's body disappeared in part because of the funeral director's alleged accomplice.

Daley's body was found several days later at the Richland County Morgue after the state's Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors contacted police about an error on Daley's death certificate.

"I thought and seen everything until that day," said Detective Bushong. "The morgue and his staff were completely unaware."

Police said the two men were originally going to cremate Daley, at the request of the family, but they lacked the necessary paperwork.

Instead, the men brought Daley's body to the county coroner's office.

According to police, one of the suspects had a key to the facility because he was an independent contractor.

The Richland County Coroner Stewart Ryckman gave a statement through email to 10TV.

 "We have allowed legitimate funeral homes to temporarily use our small morgue when they have short-time storage needs due to overflow in their facility, mechanical problems with their coolers, need for temporary storage pending transport, etc. This has not come up very often but we now will probably discontinue that practice. We would never consent to anyone running a funeral or a business out of our morgue, as apparently was done." Ryckman said.

10TV is not naming the suspects because they have not been charged.

Detective Bushong said that the investigation is expected to wrap up at the end of the week. The police department will pass their findings along to the Richland County Prosecutor to see if charges should be filed.

Daley's body was cremated after it was found.

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