(INSIDE EDITION) A Tennessee woman was arrested after she allegedly tried to remove a body from its casket during a funeral she drunkenly crashed, authorities said.
Witnesses at the Roundtree Napier Funeral Home in Columbia told police a woman showed up during a service Monday and starting grabbing the deceased person’s body, WTVF reported.
At one point, the woman tried picking up the body out of the casket, witnesses told police.
It took six people to remove the woman, identified as 36-year-old Cynthia Ann Frierson, from the building, police said.
Frierson was charged with disrupting a funeral or memorial service, public intoxication, unlawful drug paraphernalia, immediate notice of accident and driving with a revoked or suspended license, officials said.
She is accused of hitting two cars with her red truck and fleeing both scenes before arriving at the funeral home, WTVF reported.
Police allege she smelled of alcohol and was slurring her words, and when she was booked into jail, a glass pipe with black residue was found on her person, according to WKRN-TV.
Both Frierson and the deceased man’s family said she did not try to remove the body from the casket.
“I did not do that,” Frierson told WKRN-TV. “When I went up, I just went up and touched him, and if they were recording, I just touched him and turned around and I said ‘He is just asleep,’ and I said, ‘Everything is going to be OK.’”
She claimed that her cousin drove her to the funeral home.
Keith Mayes Sr., whose father was being laid to rest, said that while his family was upset with Frierson, he hopes she gets the help she needs.
“…[A]s upset as we were about her presence, I don’t want her to be accused of something that she did not do, and in no way did she try to remove his body from the casket,” he told WKRN-TV.
Frierson is due in court on September 14, officials said. She remained in custody at Maury County Jail on Friday.