AP

10 Fetuses, 1 Infant Discovered in Ceiling of Former Funeral Home

October 15, 2018 - 1:21 pm
Categories: 

DETROIT (AP) — Police were investigating Monday how the remains of 10 fetuses and one infant ended up in the ceiling of a former funeral home in Detroit that had lost its license when decomposing embalmed bodies were found there earlier this year.

The fetuses were found together in a cardboard-like box while the full-term infant was in a coffin between the first and second floors of an eastside building that once housed the Cantrell Funeral Home, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said.

"They were definitely hidden," Craig told The Associated Press. "The way they were placed in ceiling, one would not have readily discovered them. In 41½ years in policing, this is first time I've heard of anything like this."

An anonymous letter led state inspectors Friday to the decomposed remains.

The remains were taken to the Wayne County medical examiner's office which is coordinating efforts with authorities to "to hopefully get them identified and families identified," spokeswoman Lisa Croff said in a text message. "We have very little to go on (without) cooperation from the funeral home owners. Everything is under investigation."

No arrests have been made.

Cantrell Funeral Home was shut down and had its mortuary license suspended in April after decomposing embalmed bodies were found and other violations were discovered. The suspension has not been appealed and the investigation from earlier this year remains ongoing, said Jason Moon, a spokesman for Michigan's Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Those violations include two improperly stored bodies covered in what appeared to be mold and a third body with unknown fluids covering the facial area. Inspections also turned up an unsanitary embalming room.

The establishment also was operating with an expired prepaid funeral and cemetery sales registration. The state says money for prepaid funeral goods or services had not been deposited with an authorized escrow agent within 30 days of receipt.

Owner Raymond Cantrell told reporters at the time that some bodies were stored in the garage "so that we wouldn't have an aroma filling up the funeral home."

"If I had them in the funeral home, then my funeral home would not smell fresh," he said.

The building has a new owner.

Tags: