Officials Make 'Horrific' Find at Funeral Home

Cantrell Funeral Home had already been shut down
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2018 11:15 AM CDT
A Detroit Police vehicle is parked outside the Cantrell Funeral Home in Detroit on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018.   (Junfu Han/Detroit Free Press via AP)
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(Newser) – Prepare yourself: Eleven dead infants have been found stored away in the ceiling of a shuttered Detroit funeral home, ABC News reports. Following an anonymous letter, officials discovered the remains Friday at Cantrell Funeral Home, which had already been closed for earlier violations. The remains were stored in a cardboard box and a small coffin tucked away in bags in a drop-down ceiling, per CNN. "They were [mostly] in a cardboard box, nine of the 11—they're very small remains," says Detroit Police Lt. Brian Bowser. He says some dead infants' names are known to police, and the medical examiner is investigating. At least one of the infants has been on the premises since 2009, WXYZ reports.

The funeral home was shut down in April over conditions inspectors called "deplorable" and other violations, including unclean rooms, operating without proper registration, failure to deposit over $20,000 for prepaid goods and services, and keeping mold-covered bodies in an advanced state of decomposition, per WXYZ. The home was told to either hand off its prepaid contracts to another provider or simply cancel them and refund customers. Now, it's far worse: "This is horrific, and it's unethical," says Jameca LaJoyce Boone, who managed the funeral home until the shutdown, per the New York Times. "I don't understand how it happened or why it happened, and I'm just at a loss for words. That's not how the funeral industry operates." (Read more funeral home stories.)

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