Family says loved one’s remains were left overnight at JAX following 2020 crash

Jacob Edwards parents hopes Corey-Kerlin Funeral Homes & Crematory will make changes

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville family hopes that a Jacksonville funeral home will make changes after it said their loved one’s remains were left overnight at JAX.

Jacob Edwards, 30, died in a car crash in Nevada in February 2020. His family said what happened to his body was one of a handful of mishaps they had planning his funeral with the Corey-Kerlin Funeral Homes & Crematory.

It’s the second family this month that has raised concerns with the business. News4JAX previously spoke with a family who utilized Corey-Kerlin and said their loved one was accidentally cremated before the funeral took place.

When Judy Edwards saw our report, it immediately reminded her of what she said happened to her son.

“I was like, ‘Oh my goodness.’ And immediately, it was just like a flood of what had happened to us,” Judy Edwards said.

The family picked Corey-Kerlin because they had used the funeral home previously without any problems.

The day her son’s body was supposed to be flown home, his father, Mark, overheard a concerning conversation at the funeral home, the mother said.

“They were discussing about whether they were going to meet the Edwards body at 7:20 p.m. that evening, and so Mark [Edwards] questioned them — ‘Are you going to be there?’ And they said, ‘Oh yes. Absolutely,’” the mother said.

Yet, she said, her son’s body was not picked up that night and left until the next day.

The family said the airline told them they waited an extra hour, in case someone with the funeral home was running late. The family said it was told by Corey-Kerlin that they went and the window to pick up the remains had closed.

“I just can’t imagine doing something like that to a family,” Mark Edwards said.

The family says on top of this, the night before the funeral, they learned they dug the wrong grave site. Among other issues, it said, the obituary and notice for the funeral weren’t published until a week after.

“I was closer to Jacob than I am with anyone in this world,” said Jacob Edwards’ girlfriend, Baylee Belz. “And to see people just not care about the person I love and I wanted to spend my life with, it’s just terrible.”

“You can’t treat people the way you’ve treated us, the way you’ve treated these other people,” Mark Edwards said of the funeral home. “It’s just wrong. And then if you can’t do any better than that, then you don’t need to be in business.”

A request for comment from Corey-Kerlin was not returned by publication of this article.

The family says it paid $11,000 for the funeral plans and received $1,000 back.

It said it’s not about the money and that they’ve filed a complaint with the state.

About the Author:

Renee Beninate is a Florida native and award-winning reporter who joined the News4Jax team in June 2021.