Claysville funeral director’s absence draws concern

March 11, 2013
The Michael H. Heinrich Funeral Home on Main Street in Claysville - Scott Beveridge / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

CLAYSVILLE – The only funeral director in a small town in Washington County has friends and colleagues worried about his unexplained absence.

Claysville Borough officials have received a number of inquiries about how to contact Michael H. Heinrich, whose business telephone has been disconnected, and some other local funeral directors are concerned about his whereabouts.

“It has come to my attention that a number of people cannot get hold of him,” said Washington funeral director Dale DeAngelo. “I feel bad. I like him a lot.”

No one answered the doorbell Monday at his funeral home at 219 Main St., and his other funeral home in nearby West Alexander appears to have been closed for some time. There is no published residential telephone listing for him in Washington County, and the former Claysville mayor did not leave new contact information at the borough office.

DeAngelo said he has left voice and text messages for his friend, which have gone unanswered.

“If he decided to walk away, I think everyone needs to respect that,” he said.

Heinrich has an active license to conduct business in Pennsylvania, one that was renewed in March 2012, state records show. Calls to the state Board of Funeral Directors press office went unanswered Monday.

Michael Neal, a funeral supervisor at William G. Funeral Homes in Washington, also expressed concern about Heinrich, saying he has received calls from people in the Claysville area trying to locate him over the past several weeks.

Neal said Heinrich had always been easy to reach.

“I’m a little bit dumbfounded,” Neal said. “I’m concerned.”

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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