DETROIT – Sixty-three fetus remains have been removed from Perry Funeral Home on Trumbull Avenue in Detroit, according to police.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig held a news conference Friday afternoon to announce the investigation into allegations of criminal behavior at the funeral home.
"Heinous conditions and negligent conduct" prompted the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) to suspend the mortuary science licenses of Perry Funeral Home and its director Gary Deak, according to a news release from LARA.
LARA said that it found three unrefrigerated boxes containing the remains of approximately 36 deceased bodies of fetuses or infants. Officials also located a deep freezer containing an unknown number of deceased bodies. Some of the dates of death go back to 2015.
The funeral home did not certify and file death certificates for the dead bodies of the fetuses and infants within 72 hours of death. The failure to properly supervise the final disposition of a dead human body after agreeing to provide the services within 60 days of receiving the body is a criminal violation, according to LARA.
The funeral home allegedly embalmed the dead bodies of the fetuses and infants without first being given permission to do so by a relative of the deceased. LARA has an open investigation into the Perry Funeral Home and said it notified the Michigan Attorney General's office and Detroit police.
More than 30 fetus remains have been removed from Perry Funeral Home, according to Detroit police.Posted by WDIV Local 4 / ClickOnDetroit on Friday, October 19, 2018
Cantrell Funeral Home
Last Friday 11 infant bodies were discovered hidden in the ceiling of the former Cantrell Funeral Home. Nine bodies were found in a cardboard box, two were found in caskets. It was an anonymous tip that helped uncover these remains.
The cremains of four people were found, this week, by someone working on the former funeral home.
The Cantrell Funeral Home was shut down for "deplorable conditions" in April after several violations, including decomposing remains, were found. LARA suspended its mortuary science establishment license.
The new building owner said he doesn't believe the basement was searched, and state officials said workers renovating the building might be the ones who find more remains.
Detroit police have an ongoing criminal investigation into the Cantrell Funeral Home.
Task force assembled
Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies have set up a task force to investigate the mishandling of infant remains by at least two Metro Detroit funeral homes.
Sources told Local 4 that investigators are going back into Cantrell Funeral Home and Perry Funeral Home on Detroit's west side, and police raided the Cantrell Funeral Home in Eastpointe.