Update on Illinois Cremation Scandal and Cover-Up Plot: Crematory Employee 2nd Person Charged

Back in December, a story broke involving Marcee Dane, a funeral director with Burnett-Dane funeral home in Libertyville. There was a mix-up of cremated remains and Dane attempted to cover-up the incident.

Burnett-Dane Funeral Director Marcee Dane

Prosecutors said Dane tried to cover up a mix-up involving a family’s ashes by first lying to the family, then getting another person’s remains and sending the family those remains to cover the mistake.

Dane even went so far as to exhume cremains and remove an identification tag in case either family discovered the error and chose to exhume the cremains, authorities said.

Well, now, a second person has been implicated for helping Dane with her attempted scheme. This time, it is a crematory employee.

Lake Bluff, Wisconsin

Crematory Operator Keith Campbell

A 57-year-old employee of a Lake Bluff crematorium has pleaded guilty to working with a funeral director to place anonymous human remains in a container and fabricate identification paperwork.

Keith R. Campbell, an employee of Lakewood Crematory and a Lake Bluff resident, pleaded guilty on March 3 to a class A misdemeanor of the violation of the Crematory Regulation Act.

According to the charges filed by the Lake County state’s attorney’s office, Campbell admitted to retrieving anonymous cremated human remains from Lakewood Crematory, where he was employed, and placing those cremains in a temporary container. He gave those cremains to Marcee Dane, formerly a funeral director at Burnett-Dane funeral home in Libertyville, prosecutors said.

Nancy O’Connor of Antioch, a family member affected by the scandal, said she is disappointed with the industry as a whole.

“I think it’s sad that a crematorium and a funeral home would work together to cover up a mistake and no one stepped up to do the right thing,” O’ Connor said.

Her brother died on mother’s day last year and O’Connor said her mother, Jean Fagerstrom, didn’t want to attend Thursday’s hearing, because she said the process of this case has come to be too much for her.



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