Bodies confiscated in funeral home investigation

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) "Improper storage of bodies" is among issues under investigation at Beloved Care Funeral Services, according to California Department of Consumer Affairs spokesman Russ Heimerich.

The funeral home is also being investigated by Bakersfield police, the Kern County coroner's office and city code enforcement. The police department is the lead agency.

Heimerich said investigations such as this are based on consumer complaints and remain strictly confidential.

Detectives were called Tuesday to the funeral home at 717 E. Brundage Lane, according to police Sgt. Joe Grubbs. He said the coroner's office reported that nine bodies were not being adequately housed.

Police said Thursday that the coroner's office had identified all bodies and were in the progress of contacting next of kin.

Code enforcement is investigating the funeral home for compliance issues, and the Department of Consumer Affairs is looking into business practices, according to the police department.

The owner of the funeral home, James Gamble, denied any wrongdoing Thursday.

"I haven't done anything wrong," Gamble said. "I'm just trying to conduct business as well as I can and serve the people I've been serving, that's all I can do.

"I'm a victim. I keep thinking I'm going to wake up, and it's all going to be over, but it's nothing like that," he added.

Police asked anyone who believes they were defrauded by Beloved Care Funeral Home to call Detective Blaine Craig at (661) 326-3541.