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Puxico, Mo. residents seeking return of burial money

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 4:48 PM CDT
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PUXICO, Mo. (KFVS) - Several members of a small Heartland community are seeking answers after a funeral home director has passed away.

Stoddard county residents who took out burial policies with Morgan Sifford Funeral Home are now asking where their money is.

“We were assured, that the only way that money could come out of the bank was if there was a state certified death certificate. Well, it left without. I don’t think I’m dead, I feel pretty good,” said resident Wayne Walk.

He said back in 2016 he paid Morgan Sifford Funeral Home $3,500 for a burial policy.

“I’d like to know where the money went to,” he said. “Whether I get my part back or not, I’d like to have it back, but I know that’s not going to happen. But someone needs to pay.”

Starnes Holdings, the funeral homes parent company, failed to maintain a proper provider and seller’s license. Therefore, the state board of embalmers and funeral directors revoked their licenses. And shortly after owner Dale Sifford passed away.

“There were some questions about some burial policies. Some people were checking at the banks. Not getting much information about anything what to do. Where to go or how to go about it.”

Real estate broker Ronnie Walk said this has led to frustration throughout the town.

“Some people have lost their money,” he said. “The community is concerned about where this money went and what’s gonna happen.”

“The people higher up, didn’t seemed concerned with the problem that we’re facing right here,” said Wayne Walk.

The Puxico Police Department said this is a civil matter that has to go through small claims court in order for residents to get their money back.

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