LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Weeks after the Hites Funeral Home was put on a six-month suspension by the state for reasons that included the mishandling of bodies, a former employee is describing what he saw.
Rayvon Thomas said he worked at Hites and another funeral home at the same time. When comparing how the two were operating, he told KLAS, something was wrong.
“When I see these babies stacked on top of each other, my heart dropped,” Thomas said. “I always said what if families came in here and saw what you were doing with their loved ones.”
Thomas, who said he’s worked in the funeral business for five years, had worked at Hites for a year and a half before he said he was fired in July.
Thomas claims he was let go for threatening to report problems.
“‘I called the labor board, I called the funeral board. I even called the Clark County Coroner’s office and got you guys put off rotation.’ And when I told him that, it was over,” he said.
He shared videos and photos with KLAS that he says are from Hites, but most were too graphic to share.
“You have another picture where the biowaste bags are not in the bio bins,” Thomas said.
One video shows what he says is embalming happening in the wrong area. Another shows someone sawing a metal shelf with sparks flying on bodies stacked below. Yet another shows what he says are babies stacked on a shelf.
The law states that human remains must not be placed on other human remains.
“You will see there are five or six babies stacked on top of each other in each video,” Thomas said.
He added that record-keeping was also a problem at the business. He told KLAS that it’s even possible that people have the wrong remains.
“So there is, yes, people out there that is probably not even their loved ones, sorry to say, yes, definitely,” he said.
KLAS reached out to Hites for comment, but they did not respond before this report was filed.
Thomas said he called the funeral board numerous times but never filed a complaint online, something the board said needs to be done for action to be taken.
“They need to be shut down, period,” he said.
However, the board said it is still overseeing the suspension process. Bodies must be buried, cremated or transferred by the end of September.
The funeral board director told KLAS that there are companies that do DNA tests on cremated remains but the chances of getting DNA out of the ashes are very low.