By Brian Carlson
Roosevelt, UT (KTVX/CNN) - Members of Native American tribe in Utah are accused of taking matters in their own hands after a family couldn't agree on what to do with a relative's remains.
"It's hard to know that he's gone let alone gone, gone. Where, I don't even know, where his body is. You know," said Fonda Ross, the victim's mother.
Ross is in agony. She says someone stole the body of her 32-year-old son, Teddy Serawop.
[Reporter]: "How's it make you feel?"
"Angry, hurt, wondering where he is," said Ross.
Serawop died last week with an enlarged heart. His mother took his body to the Hullinger Mortuary in Roosevelt and began making funeral plans with Serawop's father and her son's former live-in girlfriend.
"They started throwing a fit about how they didn't want him cremated. He wanted to be cremated. That's what he wanted," said Ross.
The problem is Serawop is a member of the Ute Tribe. Their court ruled the girlfriend had jurisdiction over his body and wanted him buried in a tribal cemetery. But the funeral director refused.
"We were holding him here until we decided, you know, if it's the tribal courts that have jurisdiction or it's the state courts that have jurisdiction," said Funeral Director Roger Hunnlinger.
Hullinger says Serawop's father's family took the law into their own hands.
He says two men representing the tribe came into his office, closed the door behind them, and while they were discussing a court order, the family wheeled Serawop out the front door.
"Our other funeral director walked in and she said, he's gone. They've taken him," he said.
His mother was in shock.
"I just couldn't believe that somebody could do that and get away with it," said Ross.
When KTVX called the tribe for an explanation, they sent a press release saying the family members retrieved the body from the home for a proper burial.