LAKE ISABELLA, Calif. - Charles Coats, the owner of the Sierra Valley Mortuary in Lake Isabella, Calif. has been charged with grand theft of property and embezzling property.
The charges were filed on February 11, but officials say he has been at large.
Coats has been accused of failing to provide funeral services that some people paid for in advance.
Kern County deputies said they were improperly handling prepaid funerals back in 2013.
In a search warrant, deputies said the funeral home sold one woman a funeral, including an obituary, embalming and an oak casket.
The package was later upgraded to a cherry casket and deputies discovered two checks made out to Sierra Mortuary for more than $11,000.
Deputies said neither pre-paid contract had actually been signed by the customer.
When the woman died last Feb., the irregularities drew the attention of the coroner and deputies.
Deputies and the state cemetery and Funeral Bureau dug up the woman and found she had not been embalmed, was not in the right type of casket, and was still in a hospital gown.
23ABC reached out to Sierra Valley Mortuary, but no comments were made.
Deputies said one of the owners later admitted he had not provided all the services the woman had paid for.
As deputies dug further, they discovered ten other similar cases at Sierra Valley Mortuary where they suspected people pre-paid for one thing, but got another.
Bike Bakersfield hosts monthly Full Moon ride
Bakersfield Bike is inviting the community to come out for their monthly Full Mood Ride. They've hosted group rides for about 8 years now and…
40 people affected after crop dust spraying
KCFD officials says that up to 40 people are affected and 20 are sickened after a crop dusting spraying incident on the 16500 block of…
Expect possible delays on Hwy 58 this weekend
Happening this weekend, the inside eastbound lane of Highway 58 will be closed for construction between Real Road and H Street.
BPD, investigators talk Subway surveillance vid
It's been five days since Jason Alderman was shot and killed by police Saturday night at a Subway restaurant in Oildale. As the investigation…