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VI funeral homes battle for dead! One accuses other of 'stealing bodies'

- Jeanette Scatliffe of Scatliffe Memorial Chapel accuses Davis Funeral Home of taking bodies from Peebles Hospital without permission
The two funeral homes on the main island of Tortola are embroiled in a battle of words as one accuses the other of ‘stealing bodies meant for it’ and the other counter accusing of spreading falsehoods. Photo: VINO
Scatliffe Memorial Chapel in Road Town. Photo: VINO
Scatliffe Memorial Chapel in Road Town. Photo: VINO
Davis Funeral Home in Purcell. Photo: VINO
Davis Funeral Home in Purcell. Photo: VINO
Operations manager at Davis Funeral Home Pastor Robert 'Storm' Wright. Photo: Provided
Operations manager at Davis Funeral Home Pastor Robert 'Storm' Wright. Photo: Provided
Director of Hospital Services at Peebles Hospital Mrs Patricia Malone-Smith. Photo: VINO
Director of Hospital Services at Peebles Hospital Mrs Patricia Malone-Smith. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – The two funeral homes on the main island of Tortola are embroiled in a battle of words as one accuses the other of ‘stealing bodies' meant for it and the other counter accusing of spreading falsehoods.

The duelling funeral businesses are Davis Funeral Home in Purcell and Scatliffe’s Memorial Chapel in Road Town.

In an interview with this news site yesterday, Jeanette Scatliffe, the mortician at Scatliffe Funeral Chapel accused Davis Funeral Home of removing dead bodies from Peebles Hospital which had been meant for her business establishment.

Davis taking bodies without permission! – Mrs Scatliffe

“The other funeral home (Davis Funeral Home) is going to the hospital and picking up bodies without the permission of the family. I had persons who released the bodies of their loved ones to me and when I gone to look for them I heard they were at Davis. Robert Wright said that he has a contract with the Government for the hospital. I said I didn’t know that y’all give contracts and there are two funeral homes. Y’all supposed to call a meeting,” she related.

According to her, she was told that there was no process done to see to it that the two funeral homes bid for contracts competitively.

“When the families come for the bodies for me to prepare the bodies for them, I told them that I do not have them. Then Robert Wright called and said he had the bodies and if I want them I have to pay $475. [But I refused to pay],” she said.

According to the woman, she was advised of new hospital hours for the picking up of dead bodies. “They said it is from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and after that you can’t get a body. We can’t pick up bodies on Saturdays and Sundays. I could see you saying that for a living person but not someone who is dead,” she said.

“He could go any hour of the night or morning and pick up a body but I cannot do it. I don’t know why,” she said.

She said that despite the issues, she is satisfied with the running of her establishment. “If I get a body I am satisfied. If I don’t get a body I am still happy and satisfied. I don’t owe anybody,” she said.

Allegations shocking said ‘Storm’ Wright

Speaking to this news site, Pastor Robert ‘Storm’ Wright, operations manager at Davis Funeral Home, denied all of the accusations by Scatliffe, calling them libellous and that they warrant legal action.

“I find it very shocking that these allegations are even brought forth and more so publicly,” said Pastor Wright. “Davis Funeral Home/Tortola Memorial Services pride themselves on being a company that creates customers who bring customers; and we do that by serving people…giving them a fair price and good service,” he said.

Pastor Wright said in the time that he and his wife have owned the business they have tried their best to serve the community.

“We serve the community by picking up bodies for the police force…no contract, no money. I want to say it again…we have never been paid by the Police for picking bodies. They call us 3:00 in the morning and we pick up. We have picked up bodies that have gone to the other funeral home and when we call the family since our people have to be paid, we are told the police called you, we didn’t,” he said.

“I want to state unequivocally for the record that there is no contract with anybody in Government, in the hospital, with any politicians…there is none,” he emphasised.

He said customers choose Davis Funeral Home because of their exceptional service to their customers and for going above and beyond in the community.

“We are the only funeral home with a licenced certified mortician and with a certified and calibrated morgue,” he said.

No discrimination against locals

Debunking the allegation that Davis Funeral Home picks up bodies without the authority of the family, he said that that this has never happened and that it was unlikely to ever happen because of the checks and balances in the system.

Dismissing the claims of discrimination against locals on the part of Mrs Scatliffe, Pastor Wright said that while he is originally from Brooklyn, New York. “The owner of Davis Funeral Home is Maris Hodge-Wright, daughter of Charles and Elaine Hodge. She is local. Period,” he said. “I am her husband. I am paid to be the Operations Manager, that’s it,” he said.

Peebles Hospital reacts to Mrs Scatliffe's allegations

Speaking to Virgin Islands News Online, Director of Hospital Services at Peebles Hospital Mrs Patricia Malone-Smith debunked all of the allegations of Ms Scatliffe with regards to how bodies are collected from the hospital.

“We have nothing to do with the funeral homes aside from the instructions we have from families. There is a release that has to be signed by the family in order for a body to leave this organisation,” she said. “If that is not in place the body will not go,” she said.

“This is strictly adhered to, so much so that at one point we decided we are not going to release bodies on the weekend to make sure that this [directive] is adhered to,” she said.

“So whatever disagreement that they are having now that is outside of us. The family have to make a decision and then sign the form [stating how they are related to the deceased] and giving authorisation to release the body to either Scatliffe Funeral Chapel or Davis Funeral Home,” said Mrs Malone-Smith.

71 Responses to “VI funeral homes battle for dead! One accuses other of 'stealing bodies'”

  • Binocs (06/10/2015, 08:34) Like (23) Dislike (0) Reply
    Confusion over dead bodies...strupes
    • Jones (06/10/2015, 23:27) Like (1) Dislike (5) Reply
      Time for a crematorium in the BVI instead of wasting valuable land for dead bodies to rot.
  • Xxx (06/10/2015, 08:38) Like (20) Dislike (1) Reply
    well sah look trouble for me dem fighting over the dead!
  • dem say (06/10/2015, 08:40) Like (20) Dislike (3) Reply
    I will you "Storm". I already left instructions for you to handly my body when I am gone because you are top notched and caring!
  • ### (06/10/2015, 09:07) Like (41) Dislike (24) Reply
    Scatliffe just come on the scene with their foolishness. Their location is not suitable for a funeral home and I would never use them. People see what they think is a big money business and think they are entitled because they name Scatliffe?
  • salop (06/10/2015, 09:18) Like (2) Dislike (67) Reply

    i believe the scattliffe woman because homeboy look reminds me of a blood of crisp.

    • @salop (06/10/2015, 11:42) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
      You sound like you looking friend.
      Storm don't need friends. He got the living and the dead on his side. Smh
  • Yes (06/10/2015, 09:19) Like (29) Dislike (1) Reply
    Are you serious? I'm laughing my a$$ off! Next you're going to tell us they're the ones behind all the shootings trying to drum up some extra business.
  • Listen (06/10/2015, 09:31) Like (22) Dislike (7) Reply
    As brother and sister you both need to settle this privately. Both of you are two reasonable people that can come up with a solution. Jeanette you should have never brought this to the media and Wright although you would have a case do not let this end up in court.
    • wondering (06/10/2015, 15:06) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
      Let me get this straight, a man with a business minding his business has all sorts of accusations made against that business As your article states the hospital proved who was telling the truth and who was publically spreading falsehoods. Now you are telling the man do not let this end up in court? Call a lawyer from now! Ca Ching $$$$$$
    • Staff Member (07/10/2015, 13:19) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      What is there to settle? Who went public? How can the truth reason with untruth? What is there to give a solution too?

      The only thing needed is a public apology by the one who is so obviously wrong.
  • Truth (06/10/2015, 09:37) Like (43) Dislike (0) Reply
    She is not a good business person, cannot keep her word, the place is not proffessional, she said she is not killing people but at the end you end up paying almost the same among like a proffessional delivered service by Davis's. And that ladies and gentlemen is the
  • Obvious (06/10/2015, 09:40) Like (23) Dislike (34) Reply
    It is obvious that bodies are picked up without the consent of the families. No bodies should be picked up without the authorization of the family no police can give that directive. If the police or whoever give that directive without the consent of the family let them pay the bill. We are suppose to be God fearing people. Our brothers and sisters have to survive too. Want all will eventualy get none at all.
    • nonsense (06/10/2015, 09:54) Like (47) Dislike (4) Reply
      @obvious...Sometimes I wonder if we think about what we post. If someone is shot down in the street or in a location where the body is causing an obstruction. It needs to be removed urgently!!! How in the world will the police wait till they get hold of the family member before they are picked up from the scene? We need to think man.Sometimes it takes hours to get hold of a family member . The person is not living. Yes family member need to be notified but bodies need to be removed from public places once the police have finished with the scene.Somebody has got to do it.
      Now when it comes to burial and funeral arrangements that different!!! Of course the family can choose who they want.
    • yeah (06/10/2015, 15:07) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply

      They too frontish at ......and want to tell you what to do! Then they often get it wrong as well on the day of the burial! The St.... uses strong arm tactics for sure. Trust me he is not as innocent as he proclaims.

      • Really? (07/10/2015, 13:22) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        You trying to say that someone can strong arm tactic you out of your hard earned money? You must not have a brain or a spine.
  • scatiffe (06/10/2015, 09:42) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    this home need to b update I visit this home 3 times 2 out of 3 body spoiled before it reach Guyana and I have the name of d dead mr singh is no1 he live on v/gorda
  • Hmm (06/10/2015, 09:43) Like (77) Dislike (1) Reply
    That Scatliffe woman is pure confusion. She don't let you cry good before she by your side looking business. Watch her closely.
  • wize up (06/10/2015, 09:43) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
    welcome to "modern day BVI": the pursuit of the dollar..even the dead causing issues in our territory: on the drawing board for discussion is NHI, dead bodies and gun crimes....
  • HAY-ELP (06/10/2015, 09:45) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    Lord what is this I hearing today on my poor ole soul? You mean them have tug ah war for dead people now? Then next thing you know they putting out hit to have more dead bodies to go around so they could be shared? Who Jeanette Scatliffe is this? Not the one for Social Security? Or we talking about the elderly woman who is up by Cinema? The business by Cinema is not too professional. You ever saw their wreaths? Pure Chubble.
  • Guest (06/10/2015, 09:52) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Is this really a fight over dead bodies??? Goes to show you money will make you argue and fight over anything and I do mean anything.. This is so wrong and pitiful on so many levels it is not even funny.
  • SMH (06/10/2015, 09:53) Like (26) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well look here for me this good Tuesday morning @_@ I know of grave robbing but not morgue robbing! This story don't mesh because for eg if I chose Scatliffe funeral home to handle my loved one & I find out they're not there but rather at Davis somebody got to have an answer for me & I personally will find myself by Davis who in turn have to tell me why they have my loved one in their care. If what Jeanette saying is true well how come we haven't heard anything from any family who experience this by bringing the matter forward to the media or even bringing a law suit against the offending company. The whole thing don't add up
  • dignity (06/10/2015, 09:54) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    what an undignified mess. for shame.
  • Switch at birth (06/10/2015, 09:56) Like (20) Dislike (0) Reply
    My God! The dead? And she advertises that she is the last one to let us down? Well she ain't have to let me down the other way because this way alone is embarrassing. Go sit down with your nonsense. Does government do background checks on people doing businesses like these? What's her track record? What's her qualifications? Who is she as a matter of fact? Local, yo say? Only in the BVI. ...
  • Oh No. (06/10/2015, 09:56) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    Maybe this lady is really crying out for help and need the business to keep her doors open.
    • I Born Tola (06/10/2015, 11:20) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply

      service is unprofessional and that is why no one chooses.... does not have a morgue either. Furthermore, bodies have the place kinda smelly and flies fill the place. Next, if people realize Davis has taken their love ones from the hospital morgue without their permission, isn't their right to take their love ones back out of his possession? I don't understand the logic AT ALL. People have choices and the last thing I heard was that one funeral home quotes one price now, and before the funeral the price escalates to thousands more. What kind of business is that???!!!!!!

    • i from here (06/10/2015, 12:35) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ Oh No.

      If she needs help to keep her doors open then advertise your services professional, not make up false allegations about your competitor.

      People watch how you handle people and how you treat your staff at your other businesses so clean up that part too.
  • facts man (06/10/2015, 10:03) Like (15) Dislike (28) Reply
    Its a fact how bad they treat this local lady it had 6 funerals last weekend and she GOT NONE
    • just asking (06/10/2015, 10:22) Like (29) Dislike (2) Reply
      There were 5 and who is at fault that she got none?
    • Guest (06/10/2015, 10:52) Like (18) Dislike (0) Reply
      How you know the families did not jusy want Davis that's why she got none? Its a families preference I don't know why you all don't stop posting sh**...... You think it is up bam and they throw you in the ground? You have weeks of planning that goes into a funeral so a family truly wants her they can make a switch. Or are you that asinine to think you cannot tell Storm you want you to send my relative body to her and he would refuse.
    • :/ (06/10/2015, 10:54) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
      Tell me you being can't be serious with that comment right? You can't tell ppl where to go & do business & if they prefer Davis then who is to kick against it. If 20 ppl die & all the families choose to go Davis you saying they wrong? that's their preference, come on.
    • cuba (06/10/2015, 11:24) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Because one didn't get no business lastweek with the 6 funeral that's why this story make news.I tell you people on they greed over the dead..soon they will have a story name, BVI GREED
    • @ facts man (06/10/2015, 11:49) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      tell um deeds people too bad minded
  • chad (06/10/2015, 10:04) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Soon they Gonna start killing off people to get business if that's how they are behaving! Smfh
  • Real Talk (06/10/2015, 10:05) Like (23) Dislike (8) Reply
    You guys don't have to fight, the NHI going kill all of us. Soon there will be more than enough business for both parties.
    • Covered by the Blood...Not NHI (06/10/2015, 11:23) Like (7) Dislike (13) Reply
      Speak for Yourself!! If NHI kills anybody it will kill YOU.......not us. I never!!!
  • Fran (06/10/2015, 10:13) Like (10) Dislike (6) Reply
    This is so embarrassing and unprofessional. I never would have thought this could happen. There is more than enough room in the BVI for 2 Funeral Parlors. No deceased persons body should be picked up without the families permission.
    I only need the Parlors to bring my deceased body to my property because I will have the Memorial service there as well as the Burial since I belong to no church. I don't have money for no squabbling businesses to drain my family financially. Also, the backhoe for a days work costs $500 and when you die they want to charge $1000 or more. This won't happen because I own my own backhoe and friends say they will do it for free. I would Will that person my backhoe since I will no longer need it. My cousin will build my coffin and I already have them in my Will also.
    I made plans for my death so the living will not go through through financial hell. Death should not be a squabble by greedy so called caring Parlors to get rich.
  • playing games (06/10/2015, 10:17) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    This woman is out of her head she is mad that she did not get one bodies . she need to sit down if people don't wanted to go to her they just don't go is hold story is just crazy.
  • loved one (06/10/2015, 10:20) Like (1) Dislike (7) Reply
    Both davis and scaliffee is a hot mess and i aint want to see no water running from the dead or no smell in the church
  • look trouble (06/10/2015, 10:24) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Well for a while I thought I was in Trinidad lmao
  • peace (06/10/2015, 10:52) Like (12) Dislike (3) Reply
    They don't have to worry, when the NHI comes on stream there will be a lot of dead people to share.
  • Yes (06/10/2015, 11:19) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
    BVI people true colors coming out with NHI greedy and selfish behavior and now this and many other things will come out. A set of sick people pretending to be a christian society.
  • Real Talk (06/10/2015, 11:51) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    hope they do not fight over me when I die..its bad enough to have the families fighting over the access now the funeral homes fighting over the body
    • just asking (06/10/2015, 14:11) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
      Doesn't it take two to fight? Seems like only one company has a problem! :-)
    • Observer (06/10/2015, 15:43) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
      Family fighting over "access" do you mean assets?? Good Jesus!!!SMDH
  • joe (06/10/2015, 12:36) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    the story of mr grasper and mr grabbit
  • Really? (06/10/2015, 12:39) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply

    I had a relative die at Peebles. The body was still in the emergency room, not even cold, and that ....was there asking us to "give" her the body. It was very upsetting.

  • Lord (06/10/2015, 13:13) Like (21) Dislike (0) Reply
    Maybe this lady should venture into another business since she is having such a difficult time with this one.
  • Eagle Eye (06/10/2015, 15:10) Like (19) Dislike (2) Reply
    Quote from your article: According to the woman, she was advised of new hospital hours for the picking up of dead bodies. “They said it is from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and after that you can’t get a body. We can’t pick up bodies on Saturdays and Sundays. I could see you saying that for a living person but not someone who is dead,” she said.

    Question: Why would a Funeral Home pick up a living person?
  • Hmm (06/10/2015, 15:17) Like (3) Dislike (8) Reply
    We need another funeral house! Davis is not all that. Give them more than one funeral and they make all kinds of mistakes or mayybe the focus is on who spends the most money with them!
    • Staff Member (06/10/2015, 17:31) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
      While no business is 100 percent perfect all the time, we handled more than one over the weekend. And since we are not all that I invite you to start your own funeral home, see how much money you have to invest, then you can run a perfect business.
      • AshtoAsh (06/10/2015, 20:53) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
        @ Staff Member:
        I can't believe you actually responded to that comment. Take my unsolicited advice; just read the comments and stop stressing yourself. I know the temptation to respond is overbearing but stop wasting your breath!!
    • no nonsense person (06/10/2015, 21:48) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Hmm, this is not true.
  • 123 (06/10/2015, 15:23) Like (8) Dislike (15) Reply
    I like Ms. Scaliffee she is a great lady!
  • Slater (06/10/2015, 15:54) Like (54) Dislike (6) Reply
    Seaweed, NHI and NDP must go!!!
  • take note (06/10/2015, 15:56) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply

    On several occasions that Police have allegedly called for assistance from Scatliffe funeral home and was told that they were already closed. Which leaves the Police with no other choice but to call Davis funeral home who is always available at any time.

  • undertaker (06/10/2015, 16:39) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    #Funeral Home Wars..... Sounds like a good new reality tv show to me.... We can air it on channel 55 or 51......
  • neutral (06/10/2015, 19:41) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    When some one dies in the hospital, the family signs a release form to release the body too the funeral home of their choice. That from has to be sign and the funeral home of choice indicated. While keeping your love one on the hospital morgue you are being charged and depending on how long your love one is there you will end up with a big bill.Davis charges you nothing so as soon as you can sign that release of body sign do it.I can say for sure at Davis your family gets good care very professional.
  • Binocs (06/10/2015, 19:44) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply

    I have had professional service from both providers and I cannot say anything bad about none of them or try to bring any of them down. What for? The days when families use to get caskets build locally, go to the morgue and prepare and dress their dead were much better days. For those commenting that the lady doesn't know the business, she has worked at the morgue in the St. Thomas hospital for most of her life. Her daughter is a mortician. Yes, there are issues that both business (like any other) can do better in, but I don't see the need for a stir. Let's all get over it, wish each other well and move on. Time is too short for this kind of stuff

  • what a thing (06/10/2015, 23:09) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    Seems like home girl Scatliffe lying straight through her false teeth.
  • Lily Ann (06/10/2015, 23:19) Like (3) Dislike (4) Reply
    The Hospital "accidentally" burned a baby dead body .... so I don put this past them ... of releasing the body to a different handler !! Crooks all around !!!
  • @ Sad (07/10/2015, 02:35) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    sad I second the motion
  • rattie (07/10/2015, 14:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    when I did I just want to go to heaven

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