A man has said he does not know if the ashes given to him by a funeral parlour being investigated by police are his wife’s.

Mike Collinson was with his wife Jean for 50 years before she died back in November.

Her family asked Legacy Independent Funeral Directors, based in Hull, to arrange a cremation.

However, last month Humberside Police raided the family-run business.

They have arrested two people, a 46-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman, on suspicion of prevention of a lawful and decent burial, fraud by false representation and fraud by abuse of position.

They have since been released on bail while the investigation continues.

Police previously launched an investigation into the funeral home. Pic: PA

Mr Collinson was contacted one week after the police raid on the funeral parlour
Mr Collinson spoke to Sky News about what he went through

About one week after the police raid on the funeral home, officers contacted Mr Collinson.

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Speaking to Sky News, he said: “They rang me up and said can we come to see you because one of the coffins has got Jean’s name on it.

“I thought, oh my god, what’s happened here and I said ‘is Jean in it?’ and they said, ‘we don’t know and we don’t know what’s in the other coffins either.'”

In a press conference held on Thursday, assistant chief constable Thom McLoughlin said police had received more than 2,000 calls from concerned members of the public and were in contact with over 700 families.

Like Mr Collinson, a “significant number” of these calls were about worries over identifying the ashes of loved ones.

Pic: PA
Pic: PA

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Mr Collinson felt like he had closure over his wife’s death after family get together at a pub.

He said: “I thought, yeah, we’ve said our goodbyes and I thought that was it. And when they said, oh, we’ve got a coffin with Jean’s name on. Devastating. Going through it all over again.”

He added that he now faced the possibility of having to say goodbye all over again.

Mr Collinson continued: “It’s the uncertainty and not knowing what is actually happening, you know?

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“[I’ve] got some ashes, and it’s in the correct box from the crematorium, and inside it’s got Jean’s name, date of birth and date of death, and it’s still sealed up.

“But I still don’t know whether they’re hers or not.”

Police said detectives have been working “around the clock” since concerns were raised “about the storage and management processes relating to care of the deceased” at the business.

But speaking on Thursday Mr McLoughlin said officers would not be able to identify the human ashes recovered from the business.

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Police ‘unable to identify human remains’

He said: “Whilst the expert opinion provides us with assurance that the proper crematorium process had been followed; unfortunately, given the high temperature required to carry out a cremation, the DNA will have been broken down and degraded to such a level, that we would not be able to recover a meaningful DNA profile.

“This means that we are unable to identify any of the human ashes. This will, of course, be devastating news for families and loved ones and you have my heartfelt condolences at this difficult time.”