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Licenses reinstated for Indy funeral home after allegedly failing to properly embalm Indy woman

Posted at 5:32 PM, Oct 06, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS — A northeast side funeral home has been given the green light to reopen.

The Indiana Professional Licensing Agency temporarily shut Rawls Mortuary down in August after a failed inspection. The Funeral Director, Benjamin's Rawls license was also suspended.

According to court documents, on July 19, Indiana Professional Licensing Agency inspected the property and found:

  • Rawls' funeral director license was not on display
  • The embalming room's sink was cluttered and inaccessible
  • The trocar was unsanitary, and the area used to disinfect the trocar-contained items were not accessible and his certificate of authority expired on March 1.

As a result, the mortuary failed inspection.

The state claimed the funeral home was a danger to public health and safety.

The inspection followed accusations that the funeral home did not embalm 32-year-old, Tymme Stewart-Dorris.

Court documents allege Benjamin Rawls of Rawls Mortuary and Funeral failed to properly care for a Stewart-Dorris prior to leaving town for a weekend earlier this year.

Vicki Stewart says her daughter's body deteriorated and an open-casket funeral wasn't an option.

Rawls Mortuary denied the embalming claims.

Thursday, the IPLA reinstated both licenses.

"Horrible. I feel like our justice system is not a justice system. I am very, very hurt about that," said Vicki Stewart.

Stewart, says this isn't the outcome she was hoping for.

"I'm reliving my whole nightmare. I mean everything is being brought back out. Sleepless nights again, depression, the whole nine yards," said Stewart. "What he did was wrong. No expression, no gratitude, no I'm sorry. has been said. False allegations about my daughter and her health and so on," said Stewart.

WRTV has been in contact with the funeral home director. Their attorney will be sending a statement, according to him.