State takes action after cemetery moves remains

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Beth Johnson shakes her head after hearing the news that her grandparents' remains have been ripped from the ground and moved.

The punishment for it makes her frustrated.

"I think that's ridiculous," she said.

Johnson spoke with KOMO 4 Tuesday after the Department of Licensing released a statement of charges against Forest Cemetery in Olympia, explaining that the company pulled 47 cremated remains from the center of the property and moved them out of the way of a longstanding water easement.

State law calls for funeral homes to contact a family member any time remains are disturbed.

"I don't believe they provided any evidence that they contacted anyone," said Christine Anthony with DOL.

Forest has had little comment during the investigation, only to say that they complied with state laws as they interpreted them. The state says otherwise, and Johnson said she should have known.

"I wanted to be there. I wanted to witness it," she said.

Forest has until September 15 to respond to the proposed fines, but indicated it may fight the charges.