A Lancaster Woman is Suing In-Law's Funeral Home For Stealing Her Late Husband's Organs

Sheila Stanmore buried her husband, Kevin, in May 2008 after he was killed in a standoff with Grand Prairie Police. At least, she thought she buried him.

But what she and the couple's three daughters laid to rest at Community Missionary Baptist Church in Desoto wasn't quite what she thought. The corpse, according to a lawsuit filed last month in Dallas County, was empty, having had its organs removed by the funeral home.

But Stanmore didn't discover this until last summer when, while attending her mother-in-law's funeral in East Texas, she spotted a small plot bearing her husband's name, Relatives told her that's where Kevin's organs went.

"I screamed," she told WFAA. "I cried, and I took [the plaque] out of the ground. I became very angry."

She blames her brother-in-law, Vernon Stanmore, who runs Stanmore Funeral Home in Longview. According to the lawsuit, he offered to handle funeral arrangements for her husband, ultimately charging $15,000 for the service. She agreed, but the assumption was that Kevin would be buried, intact, at the Desoto plot where she and her daughters could visit.

Stanmore is seeking unspecified damages for past and future mental anguish for the funeral home's negligence. Vernon Stanmore declined WFAA's request for comment. No word on what the plans are for Kevin's organs.

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Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson