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Michigan AG to investigate complaints on mishandling of human remains by Ypsilanti crematory

Owner had mortuary license taken away due to violations at Flint funeral home

Michigan attorney general to investigate unregistered Ypsilanti crematory
Michigan attorney general to investigate unregistered Ypsilanti crematory

YPSILANTI, Mich. – On Friday, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) ordered a Ypsilanti crematory to immediately stop operations.

According to authorities, LARA and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office issued a cease and desist order against Tri-County Cremation Services, L.L.C.

On Monday, Local 4 News learned that Nessel’s office will be investigating complaints against the Ypsilanti crematory. Her office is going to handle numerous complaints including the mishandling of human remains.

State officials said bodies were not properly stored and bodily fluids were found leaking onto the floor at the crematory located on Michigan Avenue.

Previous Coverage: Ypsilanti crematory ordered to shut down by state

“It is awful. I still don’t know where she is at,” said one woman who did not want to be identified. She is still mourning the death of her daughter.

She is disturbed and disgusted that her daughter’s remains are still in the building. The woman is also unable to get her daughter’s remains.

“It is an awful thing that they have done. It is rotten. How could you do that to someone? My daughter was 34 years old. She was far too young to die. I want my daughter’s body back and I want whoever did this to be prosecuted,” added the woman.

Authorities said the owner, O’Neil Swanson, had his mortuary license taken away in 2018 due to violations at Swanson’s Funeral Home in Flint and is not legally allowed to own a cemetery or crematory or have a controlling interest in one.

READ: Flint funeral home closed due to ‘deplorable’ conditions, including maggots, unrefrigerated bodies

According to the LARA, the investigation found Swanson and Dianne Swanson purchased the crematory business in March 2020 without receiving a certificate of approval for a change of control.

State authorities are working to identify the bodies being held at the crematory.

Anyone with information is asked to call LARA at 517-241-7000.

More: Crime news


About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.