Ex-funeral home director awaits trial in Columbia

COLUMBIA | The former Missouri funeral home director charged with intentionally giving three families the wrong cremated remains has waived his arraignment in anticipation of a trial.

A Boone County grand jury indicted Harold Warren Sr. in late September on three felony counts of unlawful merchandising practices. He has pleaded not guilty.

The 77-year-old Warren and his son operated the Warren Funeral Chapel in Fulton and Columbia. He was scheduled to appear in court Monday morning but waived his arraignment hearing.

State officials ordered the business to close in July 2008 after a woman's body was found stored in an electrical room for 10 months without being embalmed or refrigerated. Investigators later found several more decaying bodies.