Melbourne mother accuses funeral director of stealing jewelery from daughter’s coffin

An expatriate funeral director in Melbourne’s Oakley is being targeted by police for thousands of dollars worth of stolen jewellery.

This is Peter Tziotzi, who was questioned by the police last week after reporting on the show A Current Affair of Channel Nine.

The episode featuring the mother who accuses him of stealing the jewelry and clothes meant to be buried with the daughter was shown on Monday on television.

Mr. Tziotzis was released by the police, with the authorities’ investigations continuing.

The director of the funeral home, Peter Tziotzis, denies the accusations and told reporters to direct their questions to the coroner because “they are the ones who had the deceased in their care.” Photo: Dora Houpis/NK Archive.

His arrest was made as part of an investigation “into a theft of jewelery in Oakleigh South which occurred sometime between July and November 2022”.

“Investigators were told a quantity of jewelery was stolen from a business on Bunney Road,” Victoria Police said.

“Neos Kosmos” contacted the police on Tuesday and confirmed that no prosecution had been brought so far.

The Greek-Australian 82-year-old mother Teresa Moraiti, speaking at A Current Affair she described the events that led her to suspect and then accuse Mr. Tziotzis.

In August, she had deposited with the funeral director the amount of $10,200 for Greek Orthodox funeral services with an open casket and embalming of the body of her 56-year-old daughter Eleni.

“I wanted to see my daughter and all my relatives wanted to see her, to say goodbye.”

“I was screaming and crying,” Ms. Moraiti said after she told the A Current Affair that Mr. Tziotzis had refused to open the coffin in the church citing the instruction of the medical examiner.

But the family accuses him of lying, saying the day after the funeral they contacted the coroner’s office and were told there was no such directive.

Ms Moraiti said she had given Mr Tziotzis a gold chain with a heart, two bracelets and a diamond ring to place on her daughter’s coffin and that she had chosen to be buried in her favorite outfit.

But when the 82-year-old mother decided to exhume her daughter’s body, she found Eleni naked in a blue zippered body bag.

Her clothes and jewelry worth thousands of dollars were missing, while a morgue tool was found abandoned next to her.

Helen’s hand was found curled behind her head instead of the typical peaceful placing of dead hands on the navel or chest.

Mrs. Moraiti was present at the exhumation along with her lawyer, three embalmers and a TV crew of the show A Current Affair which she herself had called.

Eleni’s cousin, Jim Moraitis looking at Eleni’s body said it was less neat “than our garbage when we wrap it in the bag”

A new funeral was held for Eleni Moraitis on Tuesday. Photo: Pixabay.

Mortuary staff told Ms Moraitis that no preparations had been made on her daughter’s body, even though she had been charged the full amount for embalming.

When approached by his reporter A Current Affair Sam Cucchiara with the camera, Mr. Tziotzis told them to direct their questions to the coroner because “they are the ones who had the deceased in their care.”

“Neos Kosmos” contacted Mr. Tziotzis for comment but he had not responded by the time of publication of the article.

A new funeral was held for Eleni Moraitis on Tuesday.

The police investigation into the case is ongoing and anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers immediately on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au

The article is in Greek

Tags: Melbourne mother accuses funeral director stealing jewelery daughters coffin

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