Families reunited with cremated remains

Families can pick up the cremated remains at of Toledo Memorial Park
Published: Feb. 9, 2022 at 4:52 AM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Nearly 90 cremated remains found in an Akron church are people from Toledo. On Tuesday morning, several families were reunited with their loved ones.

Families picked up the cremated remains, many of which originated from Tate Funeral Home.

Geneva Blackshear came to pick up the cremated remains of her uncle, Joseph Blackshear, that were brought to Toledo Memorial Park.

“Our understanding was that his remains were to be put in our cousin’s, Joseph Blackshear - his name is Joseph Blackshear too - was to be put in his gravesite at Forest cemetery. That’s what Tate had promised us that he would do. When we see this is going on it’s just devastating,” said Geneva Blackshear.

Last month authorities executed a search warrant at the Greater Faith Missionary Baptist Church in Akron. They found nearly 90 cremated remains that were connected to Tate funeral home. The Lagrange street business closed in 2015 and the owner is no longer alive. Many of the cremated remains are from Toledo.

“Come and get your family,” said Blackshear.

The search warrant was executed as part of an ongoing investigation regarding Shawnte Hardin. He’s facing charges in Lucas County for abuse of a corpse. Sources tell 13abc all except three of the cremated remains belonged to Hardin and the rest belong to Tate.

“It’s still a person and so they still deserve that same recognition and respect,” said the president of Toledo Memorial Park Jeff Clegg.

Clegg agreed to allow investigators to use his facility so people can claim their loved ones.

“If they have a death certificate that would be great. If they can prove that they’re next of kin,” said Clegg.

The cemetery will hold the ashes until they are all claimed.

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