The families affected by the investigation into Legacy Independent Funeral Directors in Hull are encountering additional stress due to the fact that no decision has been made on whether charges will be brought. Police began investigating the funeral directors on 6 March following suspicious behaviour that led to a focus on the deceased care. Thirty-five bodies and a quantity of ash were removed from the firm’s premises on Hessle Road. Police have now completed formal identification of the deceased people, and the investigation has been deemed “multifaceted and extremely complex”.

Humberside Police Assistant Chief Constable Thom McLoughlin has confirmed that two suspects, a 46-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman, remain on bail. The pair were arrested at Heathrow Airport on suspicion of prevention of a lawful and decent burial, fraud by false representation, and fraud by abuse of position after returning from a trip to the US. McLoughlin has provided reassurance to the families, saying that the force is committed to thoroughly investigating and working with partner agencies to ensure the families and those affected receive the help and support they need. The police are dedicated to investigating suspicious financial and fraudulent activity and are following up on numerous leads and information.

Peter Welburn, a former trawlerman, paid £1900 to Legacy for his wife Shirley’s funeral. He received what he believed were her ashes on 23 December but was then told that his wife, aged 72, was not cremated until 16 January. Speaking about the delays, Mr Welburn said: “How long is it going to go on for? This has been going on three months. People are angry. Everyone is sick of it now.” Tristan Essex’s grandmother, Jessie Stockdale, was one of the 35 deceased people found at Legacy. He held a second funeral for her at Hull Minster in May. Mr Essex said that the delay made him and other families feel that they were not getting the justice they deserved.

One woman, who does not want to be named, said she was “really disappointed” with the police investigation. She found out that her grandfather’s body was at Legacy months after she thought he had been cremated. The woman added: “Every day I have to pretend everything is normal when all I can think about is my grandad being in their chapel of rest for four months. It makes me sick to think that [those responsible] might get away with it all. It’s been months now, and even though my grandad has finally been put to rest properly, it’s all I can think about 24 hours a day, and I don’t think I ever will stop thinking about it. I just want [those responsible] to get what they deserve and pay for all the hurt they have caused.

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