Legal wranglings are over and the Tucson man, whose decomposing body was in a home for weeks, goes to rest.
Tucson Citizen, Apr. 24, 2003
IRENE HSIAO, Tucson Citizen
A man whose body decomposed for at least three weeks in a Southwest Side home before his death was reported will be buried here today, his brother said.
James Killeen was cremated Tuesday morning at Desert Rose Cremation and Burial, 2750 S. Fourth Ave., said his brother, Christopher Killeen, who lives in Rhode Island. The burial will be at South Lawn Cemetery.
A Pima County Superior Court judge ruled that Christopher Killeen had guardianship over the body. Christopher Killeen then faxed a letter to the funeral home, giving permission for James Killeen’s wife, Eleanor Killeen, to have him buried.
Eleanor Killeen recently gained access to her husband’s railroad death benefits, the brother said. Earlier, she had said she could not afford the funeral and attempted to appeal the judge’s decision last week. Judge Clark Munger denied the request.
“The whole goal all along was to get him buried,” Christopher Killeen said. “I hope it goes smoothly. It seems to be a good idea to show a little grace and allow him to be buried in Tucson.”
Though the brother said he would not be at the burial, he plans to come to Tucson in the next few weeks and eventually drive their mother from California to visit James Killeen’s grave.