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Last updated on Thursday, May 3, 2012
(INDIANAPOLIS) - The guardian of a woman whose casket was found inside an abandoned building at 2330 North Meridian Street said she wants to know what happened to his friend of more than 50 years.
Construction workers on Tuesday found Pauline Keller, who died in 2008 at the age of 81, in a casket inside the building.
U.Z. Tinker, who met Keller at the Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Assembly Church in 1960, told RTV6 he was upset about the way Keller's remains were handled.
"It's very hard, very hurtful," said Tinker. "She was very sweet and precious. She was willing and ready to help others."
Documents provided by Tinker show Keller paid then funeral director Marvin L. Boatright $3,500 for a funeral, 10 years before her death.
Keller was plagued with health problems including Parkinson's disease, and Tinker became her legal guardian in 1998.
Tinker said although Keller received her wish to be buried in a pink dress, he had no idea her casket was never delivered to Floral Park Cemetery, RTV6's Kara Kenney reported.
"I turned it over to the funeral home," said Tinker. "I thought it'd be carried to the cemetery."
Authorities called Tinker Tuesday night to tell him about the discovery.
"I feel so hurt and let down I didn't follow her to the end," said Tinker. "It's just so cold."
Boatright was convicted on forgery charges in 2011 related to his funeral business but did not face jail time.
The Marion County prosecutor's office would not say if Boatright could face additional charges in light of the discovery of the casket.
Tinker told RTV6 he did not have an opinion one way or the other on Boatright's future.
"I'll let justice take care of that," said Tinker.
When reached by phone Wednesday, Boatright told RTV6 he was very sorry about what happened to Keller, but said he had no idea a casket was inside the abandoned building.
"I was remodeling that building, but folks changed the locks and I wasn't allowed to go back in and get my things," said Boatright.
Tinker is trying to get Keller's remains back from the Coroner's office so he can properly say goodbye to his friend.
"What can you do to make up for it, other than to give her a decent burial," said Tinker. "She wasn't just anybody. She was a person with good class and she offered a lot to society."
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