Police in Allendale, South Carolina have taken the extraordinary action of exhuming the body of Minister James Hines to see if he was buried with his legs attached. A former employee of Cave Funeral Services claimed that the funeral home cut off the legs of the 6-foot, 5-inch man to fit into a coffin despite telling his widow that they had a perfect fit.
A former employee said that the funeral home did not want to pay the added expense of a new coffin so decided to trim the corpse instead.
Allendale County Coroner Hayzen Black has told the press that it found a fair amount of “undesirable evidence” and turned the case over to the police. Of course, any exhumation produces what a normal person would call “undesirable evidence” but it is assumed that he means incriminating evidence. Appropriately, Hines was a minister at Revelations Ministries.
The widow would have a strong torts claims as well as a criminal claim in such a case. The mishandling of a corpse has long been recognized as a tort under the common law and often subject to punitive damages.