ALLENDALE, S.C., April 2 (UPI) -- South Carolina authorities have begun a criminal investigation into whether a funeral home fit a 6-foot-5-inch man into a coffin by severing his legs.
Allendale County Coroner Hayzen Black said "undesirable evidence" was found after officials examined the body of James Hines, a tall man who died in 2004 of skin cancer.
Black would not say what the evidence was, CNN reported, but he noted rumors that Hines' legs were cut so he could fit into a prepaid coffin.
An employee Cave Funeral Home, which handled the Hines burial, had no comment, CNN said.
Neither the county sheriff nor the local prosecutor immediately returned calls from United Press International Thursday.
The dead man's wife, Ruth Hines, told WJBF-TV, Augusta, Ga., 60 miles northwest of Allendale, she was "going through quite a bit" after learning of the allegations.
"It's like starting all over again, and it's left me with hurt and numbness," she told the TV station.
"According to the measurements on the casket, and the funeral director, we asked him, 'Was this suitable for his length?' and he said, 'Yes that will be perfect,'" Hines said.