Eleven unrefrigerated bodies were discovered at Affordable Cremation Solutions in Lewiston in June. Credit: Virginia Mayo / AP

LEWISTON, Maine — A funeral home operator who is accused of leaving bodies unattended without refrigeration apologized through his attorney, who says the business owner was going through a personal crisis.

A letter from the attorney for Affordable Cremation Solutions owner Ken Kincer said the man was in the grips of substance abuse and that his life had become a “living nightmare,” WMTW-TV reported.

But Taylor Asen, the attorney representing the families who are suing, says the families, not Kincer, are the victims in this case.

“I feel sorry for Mr. Kincer. He had a difficult year. We’ve all had a difficult year. Needless to say, that doesn’t excuse his conduct over the months in which he was taking bodies that he wasn’t able to care for,” he said.

The business was shut down and its funeral licenses were suspended in June by Maine’s Board of Funeral Service, which said it found unrefrigerated bodies stacked in its basement.

Investigators cited a public health violation because they found an odor of decomposition and the unrefrigerated bodies of 11 people in the basement.

The Board of Funeral Services is currently deciding whether to reinstate Kincer’s operating license, the TV station reported.

The letter from his attorney was filed in court following a lawsuit brought by families of the deceased whose bodies were in Kincer’s care.

Kincer’s attorney said the businessman turned to alcohol during a difficult time in which he went through a painful divorce and watched as his sister battled cancer.

“The last year and a half of Mr. Kincer’s life has been what can only be called a living nightmare. He is deeply in the grip of depression and alcoholism,” Clifford said.

Kincer is sorry for the pain and suffering he caused.

“The death of a loved one is a sad and often times traumatic experience and the added grief that has come to them was certainly not his intention,” the attorney wrote.