Cook County Record

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Relatives of dead woman sue funeral homes, alleging disappearance of remains

By Robbie Hargett | Sep 4, 2015


Relatives of the deceased Gloria Frances Henry are suing two funeral homes and a cremation services company following the disappearance of Henry's remains.

Lillie M. Rayborn, Deborah Francis Greer and La'Keisha M. Henry filed a lawsuit Aug. 21 in Cook County Circuit Court against House of Robinson Funeral Home, Paul Anthony Robinson, Gwendolyn Robinson, Hudson Funeral Home, and Heights Crematory Inc., alleging negligence, breach of contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress, fraud, interference with the right of the next of kin to possess and preserve remains, violation of the Crematory Regulations Act, and breach of fiduciary duty.

According to the complaint, on Nov. 13, 2014, the body of Gloria Frances Henry was entrusted to the defendants for safe-keeping, preparation, cremation, recording of her death and dignified funeral services. The suit alleges Henry's remains, contained in an ornamental urn, were supposed to be present for her funeral service at Covenant United Church of Christ in South Holland, but during the service, Paul Anthony Robinson and Gwendolyn Robinson, owners of House of Robinson, entered the church and disrupted the service without Henry's remains.

The lawsuit states on Dec. 15, 2014, Rayborn confronted Paul Anthony Robinson and demanded he turn over Henry's remains and urns, to which Robinson replied the remains were "in a box and were available" and Rayborn should call House of Robinson to make delivery arrangements.

The plaintiffs made several attempts to reach House of Robinson, the complaint alleges, and Gwendolyn Robinson answered a few of these calls, stating the remains were still being worked on. Other calls were not returned, according to the suit.

To date, the defendants have failed to produce or explain the whereabouts of Henry's remains, a portion of which she wished to be distributed off Chicago's Navy Pier, the suit states. As a result of the defendants' wrongful behaviors, the plaintiffs have suffered severe emotional and physical distress over the disappearance of Henry's remains, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs seek all costs allowable by law of more than $50,000, plus attorney fees and court costs. They are represented by attorneys Eric J. Emerson, Brett L. Warning, and Donald E. Elder of Emerson & Elder in Chicago.

Cook County Circuit Court case number 2015L008864.

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