Mother wonders if son is among those discovered in former Cantrell Funeral Home

Anonymous tip leading to discovery of infant bodies was not the first

DETROIT – There are new developments in the disturbing discovery at the former Cantrell Funeral Home.

The investigation is expanding after the bodies of 11 infants were found hidden in the ceiling Friday.

More families are coming forward, wondering if their child ever got a proper burial. Some families said the news is opening new wounds, and they're looking for closure once more.

Police confirm prior to Friday's anonymous tip about the bodies hidden in the ceiling the state had received another tip about additional bodies and remains in August.

A mother holds a box that hasn't been opened in years. It contains the memories of her son. Jalon was born prematurely in 2009.

"It's heartbreaking to me," said the mother, choosing to be anonymous.

Documents and receipts prove Cantrell Funeral Home handled her son's services.

"That's one reason I don't want to show my face. Because I don't want people calling me asking me where I have to re-explain," she said.

The mother is speaking out because she fears her son could be one of the bodies found in the hidden compartment in the funeral home.

"My baby died in 2009, we don't know how many they tossed to (the) side," she said.

She has receipts for services after holding a private viewing.

"The baby's casket was already in the ground. They started putting the dirt over the baby, someone from Cantrell gave a prayer," she said.

Since learning of the discovery, and investigation she has been worried.

"I don't know what was in that box when they put it in the ground," she said. "Either you're helping the family or you're desecrating the deceased. Which one is the greater value?"

The investigation revealed many families who used Cantrell Funeral Home were on payment plans.

The mother could never get paperwork from Cantrell for a death certificate and now she and her husband are prepared to provide DNA to see if baby Jalon's body is among those desecrated.

"To think my baby went through all of this while living only to be treated like garbage after they died," she said.

About the Authors:

Kayla Clarke

Kayla is a web producer with an English degree from Michigan State University. Before joining the ClickOnDetroit team in 2018, she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.