An article recently appeared in FOTM (Fellowship of the Minds) on the exploits of a funeral home and embalming service at 623 Main Street in East Hartford, Connecticut: Hartford Trade Service and River Bend Funeral Home & Crematorium. Both businesses are long associated with one Kevin K. Riley. You can find that article here.
The reason for FOTM’s interest in the flat-footed, squatty establishment depicted above is because it’s purported to have been where the bloody remains of the alleged Sandy Hook massacre perp, Adam Lanza, were cremated. Supporting evidence for this is in the FOTM article.
Partners in estate plundering and other venal crimes. The problem: the establishment has a squalid history, having been the vortex of crimes committed by a pair of conspirators, Kevin Riley himself and his bookkeeper, Yolande Faulkner. In 2011, after a four-year investigation, the duo was proven to have robbed the estates of multiple deceased people, falsifying their records, plundering their valuables and selling their real estate. And they took advantage of a lucrative state contract to swindle and double-bill their way into multiple court dates and Hartford Courant articles. (See links in the timeline below.)
For this, Riley went away to the poky for eight months after sentencing in 2011, and Faulkner was slapped with fines and community service, later reduced due to purported hardship: Faulkner cares for a disabled husband and aged mother.
Adam’s post-mortem handler. And yet, Riley’s business was chosen in 2012 to handle the remains of the most heinous perpetrator of child killings in recent Connecticut history — after Riley’s license was revoked and his business ostensibly ruined.
How could this be? Why would the State of Connecticut – itself the victim of Riley’s double-billing schemes – seek out his business to handle such a potentially controversial body of evidence?
Two Kevins? Critics/trolls of FOTM’s article have said the equivalent of, “So what?” (And much worse.) They claim that by 12-14-12, Kevin Riley had been succeeded by another Kevin – one “Kevin Davidson”- whose name appears on the sign of the cement block establishment:
While that’s evident (if debatable) it doesn’t explain another glaring oddness.
One Yolande. In February 2016, an employee of Kevin’s named “Joe” handed a business card to a potential customer of River Bend Funeral Home after he wrote a name (“Yolande”) and phone number on the reverse side. (The number has been blurred in the photo below for privacy reasons.)
It turns out that “Yolande’s” phone number belongs to Yolande Faulkner, Riley’s bookkeeper and co-conspirator. So at least one-half of the larcenous duo is still operating out of 623 Main Street.
A chain of opportunistic crimes. Cinderella thought it would be interesting to unravel the back-story to all of the above, so we constructed a footnoted timeline. The timeline, with comments beneath it, follows.
Note the interesting real estate transactions that correspond with difficult times in the Riley biography, particularly in 2010-2012, when the gavel was about to come down. (One might add that it took that gavel a long time to descend on Riley’s head.)
Nov. 1, 1956: Kevin Kelley Riley is born
Early years: By the eighth grade, young Kevin Riley knows he wants to become an undertaker and embalmer; During his schooling and apprenticeship toward this goal, he works at various odd jobs, as hot dog vendor, horse groomer, junkyard worker and truck washer1
Jan 17, 1979: 1281 Ridge Road, North Haven, CT is quit-claimed to or inherited by Russell & Sarah Davidson; See http://gis.vgsi.com/northhavenct/Parcel.aspx?Pid=2254
Oct. 17, 1985: Joseph & Todd J. Warzecho purchase 623 Main Street, East Hartford for $85,000; See: http://www.mapsonline.net/easthartfordct/web_assessor/
1987: Kevin Riley founds the Hartford Trade Service1
July 1991: Using profits from Hartford Trade Service, K. Riley founds Coventry Funeral Home1
1998: Denise and Kevin Riley are still running the Coventry Funeral Home on Route 44 in Coventry while living in the back of the house with their three young children, ages 6, 10 and 121
June 22, 2001: This is the date that Hartford Trade Service, LLC is described as first being “registered” as a “Domestic Limited Liability Company”; The “principal” is listed as Kevin K. Riley, Manager, with a business address of 623 Main Street, East Hartford, but with a residence address of 20 Pinney Road, Somers, CT; The “agent” is listed as David A. Ruth (who was Riley’s attorney at one time); The agent’s business address is listed as 1159-A Boston Turnpike, Bolton, CT; The business ID is 0684625; The current business status is described as “Dissolved”; See: http://www.concord-sots.ct.gov/CONCORD/online?sn=PublicInquiry&eid=9740
Oct. 31, 2001: Joseph and Todd J. Warzecho quit-claim 623 Main Street, East Hartford to Todd J. Warzecho (3/4 int. C/O Preferred Auto Rentals) See: http://www.mapsonline.net/easthartfordct/web_assessor/
2004: K. Riley lands an exclusive lucrative contract, worth $500K, with the state of Connecticut to bring bodies to Farmington for autopsies and provide a decent burial in cases where no members of the immediate family are available 2
July 2005: When Shirley Sullivan of Bridgeport dies, K. Riley is named fiduciary of her estate; Riley hires another licensed funeral director, Salvatore Spadaccino, out of Monroe, CT to appraise the home; Spadaccino is an ex-con, convicted of drug trafficking in 1986, See: https://www.courtlistener.com/opinion/475726/united-states-v-salvatore-f-spadaccino/; Spadaccino’s appraisal ($175,000) falls short of the court-ordered appraisal by $85,000; The house is sold to Lucien Investors, Inc. an LLC with one member, a John Diema, a realtor who works for the same parent company as Spadaccino: ERA Shays Real Estate; Obviously this is a cozy arrangement; After Lucien buys the property, it is sold to a Stamford banker for $305,000 a few months later; K. Riley charges the Sullivan estate $15,000 for a funeral no one attends2a, 7
October 2005: K. Riley double-bills the estate of Helen Gall of Columbia, CT for transporting her remains (his contract with the State covered this service); charging $13,000 for a funeral, while adding in duplicate or frivolous charges3,4
July 28, 2006: Hartford Trade Service, LLC, purchases 623 Main Street, East Hartford for $230,000 from Todd J. Warzecho (3/4 int. C/O Preferred Auto Rentals) See: http://www.mapsonline.net/easthartfordct/web_assessor/
August 2006: K. Riley takes the body of Meriden resident Julia Drozd to Hartford Trade Service for cremation and burial; he is later accused by Drozd’s attorney, John Miller, of selling Drozd’s belongings and renovating her house for the purpose of selling it; Probate Judge Brian Mahon orders an investigation by the state Dept. of Public Health; Riley and his attorney, David A Ruth, call Riley’s actions “an honest mistake,” saying that Riley had turned over proceeds from the sale of Drozd’s possessions in an auction house; Riley portrays his actions as charitable because the house was in poor condition, inhabited by Drozd’s mentally ill son, Robert, who had been found in the house with his 3-day-old dead mother2
Nov. 2006: Bridgeport Judge of Probate Paul Ganim removes K. Riley as fiduciary of the Bridgeport estate of Shirley Sullivan, deceased July 2005; Ganim’s decision follows Riley’s suspicious sale of Sullivan’s house and questionable fiduciary fees (see July 2005 above)2a
Jan 2007: The CT State Dept. of Public Health seeks a summary suspension of K. Riley’s embalmer’s license and his licenses to run the Coventry Funeral Home and Hartford Trade Service on the basis of a 44-page report that reveals violations, including double-billing, using unlicensed embalmers, using his state contract to solicit private business, as well as selling off assets of dead people’s estates without documentation and charging high costs for funerals few people attends; Riley is also accused of improperly cremating Julia Drozd, falsifying her death certificate (with the wrong date) and selling off her belongings; Riley’s new attorney, John Droney, argues that Riley deserves a hearing and that his rights “are being trampled”; The CT Board of Examiners of Embalmers and Funeral Directors postpone a decision to revoke Riley’s license 3
March 2007: K. Riley faces 21 charges under the investigation of Edward D. Bergin of the State Public Health Department, but is allowed to operate his businesses while hearings continue; More details emerge, including the double-billing of Helen Gall’s estate, routine overbilling, charging for hearses never used and overcharging for urns; Bergin questions why Riley took 43 days to cremate Gall’s remains, keeping her in cold storage while charging the estate $50/day; He reveals that in the Drozd case, Riley changed Drozd’s address to his own, took possession of her and her mentally ill son’s mail, and “cleaned out” her house; Oddly, Riley never submitted a funeral bill in the Drozd case, Bergin reveals, and there remains confusion as to how he was paid 4
May 29, 2007: This is the date that River Bend Funeral Home and Crematorium, LLC is described as first being “registered” as a “Domestic Limited Liability Company”; The “principal “ is listed as Kevin K. Riley, Manager, with a business address of 623 Main Street, East Hartford, but with a residence address of 20 Pinney Road, Somers, CT; The “agent” is listed as David A. Ruth, Esq. (who was Riley’s attorney at one time); The agent’s business address is listed as 1159-A Boston Turnpike, Bolton, CT; The business ID is 0901394; The current business status is described as “Dissolved”; See:http://www.concord-sots.ct.gov/CONCORD/online?sn=PublicInquiry&eid=9740
June 2007: A marathon probate court hearing in Meriden is held on the Riley case before Judge Brian Mahon; in an unprecedented move, probate court officials agreed to transfer all probate cases Riley was involved in across the state to the Meriden court; Probate officials also refer the cases to Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane’s office; During the hearing, Riley insists that he was “doing a job for the medical examiner’s office that no other funeral director … wanted to do…” 5
July 2007: Claiming to be “financially drained” by his legal problems, K. Riley sells hisCoventry funeral home to Philip and Jessica Pietras for $800,000; Riley continues to run his other businesses at this time, but is “no longer an employee” of the newly named Coventry Pietras Funeral Home; Riley is allowed to stay in the house until he can find “alternate living arrangements” 5 In his testimony before the state board, K. Riley blames the media for his plight, as well as the managers he put in charge after he suffered two heart attacks. “I’m not the ghoul I’ve been portrayed as on the front page of The Hartford Courant,” he is quoted as saying.6 Riley’s attorney, John Droney, calls the proceedings led by investigator Bergin a “witch hunt,” and Riley accuses Bergin of attempting to “hoodwink” the board. The health department’s attorney, Diane Wilan, focuses on testimony that Riley used unlicensed embalmers and did not provide services with fixed prices.6 The board, at this point, is expected to make a decision about Riley’s license in November 2007; however, another year will pass before this happens
Sept. 2007: Investigators from the chief state’s attorney’s office seize records from both ofRiley’s businesses – the Coventry Funeral Home and Hartford Trade Service – including computers and employment records; a hearing is scheduled for Sept. 27 by the CT Board of Examiners of Embalmers; some concern is expressed by one of the probate administrators involved (James Lawlor) that the board of examiners may dismiss many of the charges8
May 20, 2008: A new embalmer suddenly enters the picture: Kevin C. Davidson of North Haven, whose licensing information (under #2698) is listed multiple times on the State of Connecticut e-licensing website; See: https://www.elicense.ct.gov/Lookup/LicenseLookup.aspx
Dec. 2, 2008: K. Riley is fined $10,000 by the Connecticut Board of Examiners of Embalmers and Funeral Directors for allowing unlicensed employees to perform embalming; the Board votes unanimously that this is the only charge by DPH officials that could be proved; Riley is allowed to keep his funeral license9
Feb. 2009: Investigators from the state’s attorney’s office search the Weston Auction House, (where Riley’s employee, Yolande Faulkner, works part-time as bookkeeper) situated close to the Coventry Funeral Home; they look for records of jewelry and other items sold there that they believe were taken by Riley from homes of the deceased10
October 1, 2009: Yolande Faulkner, the bookkeeper for Hartford Trade Service, is arrested and charged with first-degree larceny; She is held with bail set at $250,000 and is arraigned at Superior Court in Hartford, charged with one count each of Corrupt Organizations and Racketeering Activity, first-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny and 10 counts of second-degree larceny; Faulkner’s court date is set for Nov. 13; Riley’s arrest is believed imminent by his attorney10
October 15, 2009: Details of the double-billing schemes of K. Riley are revealed in a 49-page arrest warrant unsealed on the same day he’s arrested (October 15, 2009); In sum, Riley double-billed the Department of Social Services and the Office of the Chief State Medical Examiner more than $25,000 combined; In many instances, he charged the State transportation and burial fees while charging the same amount to the deceased’s estate; The warrant also details Riley’s schemes to steal valuables from the homes of deceased people Riley was entrusted by the state to serve; Riley posts $500,000 bail and is scheduled for a court appearance October 29; He is charged with one count of Corrupt Organizations and Racketeering Activity and multiple counts of first-degree larceny, second-degree Larceny, conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny and forgery; In addition to Riley, another office worker at Hartford Trade Service, Sheri Blews, is arrested; The arrest warrant discloses that, in the Julia Drozd case, according to employees’ testimony, Riley found and presumably kept up to $24,000 in cash found in the Drozd home11
2010 (month???): Kevin Davidson Realty is said to be established in 2010 at 1281 Ridge Road, North Haven, CT; See http://businessbay.us/kevin-davidson-realty-llc-north-haven-ct
February 9, 2010: K. Riley is arrested in his Somers home and charged with 63 counts of second-degree larceny; Prosecutors from the state’s attorney’s office charge him with double-billing the state for cremation containers 62 times, amounting to $8,440. He also over-billed families for containers, in the amount of $7,130; The Courant report on Riley’s arrest describes him as operating “the Riverbend Funeral Home and Crematory in East Hartford,” not “Hartford Trade Service” as previously 12
Aug. 27, 2010: K. Riley is convicted and pleads guilty to a long list of larceny and double-billing charges, and is ordered to pay restitution of $62,902; He faces a two-year prison sentence; Likewise, his “co-conspirator,” Yolande Faulkner, is found guilty and faces a two-year prison sentence for larceny charges, ordered to pay $13,296 while facing a possible two-year prison sentence; Court dates for both are set for November; Officer Sheri Blews is likewise charged, and her case is pending; in the Courant article covering the convictions, it’s revealed that Riley’s victims include the estates of Anne Drysdale of Stamford and Joseph Chionski of West Hartford, which were plundered for the sale of items (including Tiffany and sterling silver items) by Faulkner at Weston Antiques13
Oct. 25, 2010: This is the date that Hartford Trade Service, LLC is described as being “registered” as a “Domestic Limited Liability Company” at the 623 Main Street East Hartford address; The principal listed is “Kevin Davidson” (manager), with a residence of 9 Lawncrest Drive, North Haven; The agent listed is also “Kevin Davidson” of “1281 Ridge Road, North Haven, CT” (business and residence address); The business ID is listed as 1018891; The business status is described as “Active” See: http://www.concord-sots.ct.gov/CONCORD/online?sn=PublicInquiry&eid=9740
Nov. 8, 2010: This is the date that River Bend Funeral Home and Crematorium, LLC is described as “registered” as a “Domestic Limited Liability Company” at 1281 Ridge Road, North Haven, CT 06473 – NOTE: This is a RESIDENTIAL ADDRESS owned by Russell & Sarah Davidson; See Jan 17, 1979 ; The principal and agent is Kevin Davidson of the same Ridge Road address; the business ID is 1020079; The business status is “Active”; See: http://www.concord-sots.ct.gov/CONCORD/online?sn=PublicInquiry&eid=9740
Jan. 3, 2011: Hartford Trade Service, LLC sells 623 Main Street, East Hartford to Kevin Davidson Realty, LLC for $280,000; See: http://www.mapsonline.net/easthartfordct/web_assessor/
Jan. 4, 2011: The expiration date for River Bend Funeral Home’s license (#649) as listed inThe State of Connecticut’s elicensing website: https://www.elicense.ct.gov/Lookup/LicenseLookup.aspx]
Jan. 4, 2011: The granted date for River Bend Funeral Home’s new license (#666) as listed in The State of Connecticut’s elicensing website: https://www.elicense.ct.gov/Lookup/LicenseLookup.aspx] (The license is said to be active until 6-30-2016)
Jan. 5, 2011: The expiration date for Hartford Trade Service’s license (#467) as listed in the State of Connecticut’s elicensing website: https://www.elicense.ct.gov/Lookup/LicenseLookup.aspx
Jan. 5, 2011: The granted date for Hartford Trade Service’s new license (#667) as listed in theState of Connecticut’s elicensing website: https://www.elicense.ct.gov/Lookup/LicenseLookup.aspx; (The license is said to be active until 6-30-2016)
Jan. 25, 2011: K. Riley is sentenced to 8 months in prison and forced to surrender his funeral director and embalming licenses; He must repay the estates he stole from as well as two state agencies he double-billed; He must also perform 100 hours of community service during each of the three years of probation after release from prison; Y. Faulkner receives a 5-year suspended sentence and must pay full restitution in addition to 100 hours of community service during each of three years of probation; Judge David Gold grants clemency to Faulkner, who cares for a disabled husband an elderly mother, because he says “prison would be more punitive to those she cares for rather than her”; He describes Riley and Faulkner as “good people who’d lost their way” 14
Feb 15, 2011: The state of Connecticut’s Department of Public Health lists this as the date Kevin Riley (#002251) voluntarily surrendered his license as funeral director and embalmer: http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3143&q=388896; Compare this with the items listed for January 4 & 5 for the same year.
May 25, 2012: Kevin Davidson purchases 9 Lawncrest Drive, North Haven from Michael Zumbo for $233,500
Sept. 12, 2012: 623 Main Street, East Hartford is quit-claimed to River Bend Funeral Home & Crematorium (whose agent is “Kevin Davidson”) by Kevin Davidson Realty, LLC; See: http://www.mapsonline.net/easthartfordct/web_assessor/
Dec. 14, 2012: After the Sandy Hook event, in which Adam Lanza allegedly takes his own life, it is decided that Lanza’s remains will be cremated in secret; The alleged death certificate of Adam Lanza lists “Hartford Trade Service” as the funeral facility in Box #33 – with an illegible signature next to it and the license number “2698,” which turns out to be that of Kevin Davidson (See May 20, 2008 above); Also, see: https://fellowshipoftheminds.com/2016/04/27/sandy-hook-the-curious-case-of-adam-lanzas-ex-con-funeral-home-director/
Feb. 14, 2013: Y. Faulkner’s sentence is modified after she completes 200+ hours of community service; She is placed on conditional discharge from that service so that she’ll have time to care for sick family members; She is ordered to make a $1,000 charitable donation in lieu of the time 15
Dec. 2013: K. Riley purchases the Demers Home at 129 Springfield Road in Somers, CT forabout $95,000; The home is a leaky, vermin-infested derelict rooming house that Riley will sink an alleged $200,000 in the next year and a half, removing 30-40 trees, filling nine dumpsters with garbage and hoarded junk, and renovating 16
April 26, 2015: K. Riley holds an open house at the newly reno’d Demers Home, which he has renamed Tall Pines Rooming House, LLC; He is reported to be renting rooms there for between $150 and $250 per week16
Dec. 16, 2015: This is the date that Kevin Davidson Realty, LLC is said to be registered as a “Domestic Limited Liability Company” at 623 Main Street, East Hartford; The principal and agent are recorded as the same person, Kevin Davidson: Davidson’s business address is listed as 623 Main Street, East Hartford (the address of record for Hartford Trade and River Bend) with a residential address of 9 Lawncrest Drive, North Haven, CT 06473; The business ID is 1193087
Current (2016): All State Estate Liquidators & Cleaning Service, a company operated out of a P.O. Box address in Bolton, CT, continues to be run by Yolande Faulkner; See: http://www.businessdatabase.us/all-state-estate-liquidators-cleaning-service-bolton-ct-06043.usbiz; Faulkner, who appears to divide her time between Bolton and Vernon, neighboring towns in Connecticut, recently placed one of her residences, a lavish log home, on the market; The current asking price as of May 2016: $359,900; See: https://www.coldwellbankerhomes.com/ct/vernon/166-grier-rd/pid_11274459/
1 “Rileys Have Home Sweet Funeral Home,” Lisa Goldberg, Hartford Courant, 3-08-1998
2 “A Mortician’s Unusual Undertaking,” Colin Poitra and Dave Altimari, Hartford Courant, 11-05-06
2a “Funeral Director On Hot Seat,” Dave Altimari, Hartford Courant, 11-17-06
3 “Funeral License Ruling Delayed,” Dave Altimari, Hartford Courant, 1-12-07
4 “Investigator Lays Out Funeral Director Case,” Dave Altimari, Hartford Courant, 3-30-07
5”Man Sells Funeral Home As Legal Woes Continue,” Dave Altimari, Hartford Courant, 7-07-07
6 “Funeral Director: I’m Not A Ghoul,” Dave Altimari, Hartford Courant, 7-20-07
7 “Unseemly Undertaking,” Tribune Digital – The Courant, 8-20-07
8 “Records Seized from Funeral Businesses,” Dave Altimari, Hartford Courant, 9-20-07
9 “Funeral Chief Fined $10,000,” Dave Altimari, Hartford Courant, 12-04-08
10 “Aide to Funeral Director Arrested – Bookkeeper Charged With Racketeering,” Dave Altimari, Hartford Courant, 10-02-09
11 “Funeral Home Owner Charged with Racketeering,” Dave Altimari, Hartford Courant, 10-16-09
12 “Funeral Director Faces More Charges,” Christine Dempsey, Hartford Courant, 2-09-10
13 “Funeral Director Who Plundered Estates Is Found Guilty,” Dave Altimari and David Owens, Hartford Courant, 8-27-10
14 “Funeral Home Director Sentenced To 8 Months,” David Owens and Dave Altimari, firstname.lastname@example.org, Hartford Courant, 1-25-11
15 “Sentence Modified For Bookkeeper in Funeral Scam,” Hilda Muñoz, email@example.com, Hartford Courant, 2-14-13
16 “Miraculous makeover: Once filthy Somers rooming house undergoes stunning transformation,” Lauren Quirici, Journal Inquirer, 5-24-15
What should we make of the odd coincidences in the above timeline? For instance, consider Kevin Davidson Realty – an entity that mysteriously popped up like a daisy out of a corpse in 2010 – the same year that Kevin Riley was arrested in his Somers home and charged with 63 counts of larceny.
That same Kevin Davidson Realty would later purchase 623 Main Street on Jan. 3, 2011 — just a few weeks before Riley was sentenced to prison on Jan. 25, 2011.
Then, in September 2011, Kevin Davidson Realty turned over 623 Main Street to River Bend Funeral Home & Crematorium for a cool $0. (And wouldn’t this be about the time Riley was released from prison?) Before and since that time, Cinderella could find no evidence that Kevin Davidson Realty had/has taken part in any reported real estate transactions — at all.
Yet, like three passed-over peas in a pod, Kevin Davidson Realty, Hartford Trade Service and River Bend Funeral Home & Crematorium currently share the same business address.
One Yolande. Two Kevins (?). Three businesses. Maybe it means nothing. But one question persists: Why did the State of Connecticut trust the remains of Adam Lanza to a business steeped in deception and opportunistic crimes? A business that ripped off the people of Connecticut by double-billing services rendered to the most exploitable of the exploited – those who die alone, without living relatives or companions competent to defend them against criminal acts.
Well, dear reader. You tell me. ~C