Local funeral home and crematory director William Ellenberg recently had his funeral director license revoked after the state received reports of threats to kill a co-worker, a suicide attempt, and reports of a body being dismembered for cremation without family permission.
William Bernie Ellenberg III owns Metro Embalming and Crematory in Conyers and Ellenberg Funeral Services in Loganville.
According to the suspension ruling issued by the state dated Sept. 19, the Board of Funeral Services cited that “the Respondent has made terroristic threats and threaten(sic) to kill a person with whom the respondent was engaged in the operation of a licensed funeral establishment” and that a temporary protective order was issued against Ellenberg.
The order also cited “the Respondent held a handgun to his head and threatened to kill himself… the Respondent shot himself with a handgun in an attempted suicide while inside a licensed funeral home.”
The order also described information regarding Ellenberg cutting up and dismembering the body of an obese deceased person before cremation.
Conyers Police Department Lt. Jack Dunn said his department had received word in August from the Walton County Sheriff’s Office of the dismemberment complaint and a few other complaints.
After looking into the matter, the CPD decided the case was an administrative one rather than a criminal one.
According to Dunn, the body of a 1,100 pound woman due for cremation had been dismembered without the family’s permission.
“Apparently it’s a common thing. It’s done professionally,” said Dunn, especially in cases when a body won’t fit in through the crematory door.
“We did go to the location. We were able to walk through the location. We saw nothing out of the ordinary
“There’s no indication that any bodies have been mistreated. This was a situation where family permission was required.”
Ellenberg had also reportedly recently faced a lawsuit this year where a bank sued him for $350,000 for failure to pay a loan and misrepresenting his situation when he applied for the loan.
Last year, Ellenberg sought to lease the Harry White Chapel, owned by councilman Chris Bowen, on Milstead Avenue after Scot Ward Funeral Services moved into the new Green Meadows facilities, but that attempt resulted in a civil lawsuit in Rockdale County Superior Court between Scot Ward and Chris Bowen for a breach of non-compete clause in the contract.