Police recover further 19 urns from funeral parlour amid missing ashes probe

A Milne Independent Funeral Directors is at the centre of an investigation into missing ashes and financial misconduct.

Police recover further 19 urns during A Milne Funeral Directors investigation in Glasgow STV News

A further 19 urns have been recovered from a funeral parlour in Glasgow at the centre of an investigation into missing ashes.

Specialist officers carried out searches of a branch of A Milne Funeral Directors in Springburn between May 3 and 14 after several families reported allegations of ashes going missing, and financial misconduct.

The firm, which also had a branch in Dumbarton, no longer operates from the premises.

The police investigation, named Operation Koine, was launched after families reported missing remains.

Among those to raise concerns was the family of Dennis Smillie who told STV News they have waited for his ashes for three years.

On Tuesday, Glasgow City Council confirmed that 19 ashes containers recovered during the police search of the address near Springburn Park have been handed over to them – just days after eight urns were handed over to another local authority.

Four of the remains found have not yet been identified and will require further direction from the Scottish Government Inspector.

Dennis Smillie's family have waited over three years for his ashes to be returned. Supplied

A spokesperson said: “During the clearance of a funeral director’s former premises on Balornock Road, 19 caskets of ashes were found and removed for safe keeping.

“The ashes have been returned to the crematoria where the respective cremations took place so the relevant families can be contacted and we have taken responsibility for two of the caskets with 12 going to three other crematoria .

“Four caskets are as yet unidentified and we will require direction from the Scottish Government Inspector on Burials, Cremations and Funeral Directors on the approach to take with these four caskets.

“Anyone who has queries about ashes should contact the crematorium where the cremation took place.

“As this matter is the subject of a police investigation it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

Eight containers of ashes were handed over to Argyll and Bute Council on Friday and have been returned to Cardross Crematorium and loved ones have been contacted.

Detective Inspector Gerry Shovlin, Clydebank CID, said: “This is a very sensitive and emotive case and we recognise the upset and distress that families have experienced.

“Our investigation has been going on for several weeks now and will continue for some time, due to the level of enquiry that will need to be followed up.

“It is a complex inquiry that involves a number of agencies, but families can be reassured that the ashes of their loved ones are a priority and will be treated with the utmost respect.”

If you wish to contact police with regard to this investigation, then please call officers via 101 quoting incident number 1289 of 2 May 2024 or contact Police Scotland via the dedicated enquiry email address at Operationkoine@scotland.police.uk

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