BRISTOL, Tenn. - One employee at Weaver Funeral Home in Bristol, Tennessee got the surprise of a lifetime on Tuesday morning.
According to the Bristol Police Department, two homeless men broke the lock to the door of their warehouse and snuggled up inside three of their caskets.
"I asked them a few questions about what they were doing, what had done the damage," Ownby said Wednesday. "[They] didn't have a whole lot of response, so I was going to go ahead and call the police."
After Ownby told the men he was calling police, the two jumped out of a window in the back of the warehouse and left the scene in different directions. "The officers were actually able to locate one of the suspects, and he was brought back to the station," said Mike Carlson, a Bristol, Tennessee police officer. Carlson said they charged Barrett Lance Hartsock with burglary and vandalism over $1,000.
The Haven of Rest is a nearby homeless shelter. Wayne Sheridan, the shelter's director, said Hartsock was a frequent resident. He was not only surprised for Hartsock's unique choice in bedding, but he's also wondering why he didn't come back to stay at the shelter. "That's why we're here," said Sheridan, "Part of the reason is to help them come to a place like this, rather than to sleep in places they shouldn't."
That peaceful night's rest at a shelter could have saved Weaver Funeral Home a lot of money. "They [tore] the lid off one of them, so obviously I can't use it. The other two they [were] in, we won't be able to use," Ownby said.
It's also caused the manager a big hassle. "It's certainly bizarre. I've had a lot of funeral director friends call, and you know, it's not comical, but it's something to rib us about," said Ownby.
We have more facts about the unusual situation. The funeral home said the damages totaled nearly $9,000 They are also considering buying an alarm system for their warehouse.
Police say the other man sleeping in the caskets goes by the street name "Lars."