LARA completes investigation into Cantrell Funeral Home, finds multiple violations

Alleges fraud, deceit, incompetence, gross negligence

DETROIT – An investigation into a Detroit funeral home has been completed by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, or LARA, according to a release.

State inspectors were led to Cantrell Funeral Home in August by an anonymous tip sent on Aug. 28 to LARA saying that corpses were hidden throughout the building. The following day, an inspector found a stillborn corpse in a box.

On Oct. 12 LARA received another letter with clear instructions on where to locate additional bodies inside the former funeral home. That afternoon, the decomposing bodies of 11 infants were located hidden in the ceiling.

READLARA releases timeline into Cantrell Funeral Home investigation

The investigation revealed "deplorable and unsanitary conditions including the improper storage of decomposing bodies of adult and infants," according to the release.

LARA said the investigation resulted in a formal complaint against Cantrell Funeral Home; the home’s designated manager, Jameca LaJoyce Boone; and formerly licensed Raymond Cantrell II, who was running day-to-day operations at the funeral home in 2017 and 2018.

According to LARA, some of the findings include the following:

  • Acts of fraud, deceit, dishonesty, incompetence and gross negligence.
  • Deceased human bodies stored in a disrespectful manner in various locations through the funeral home and for a length of time that led to an advanced stage of decomposition.
  • Unlicensed activity.
  • Reuse of single-use caskets.
  • Unsanitary conditions.
  • Inadequate ventilation in the embalming room.
  • Untimely filing of death certificates.
  • Knowingly making a false statement on a death certificate.
  • Improper storage of medical waste.

LARA intends to use the formal complaints to seek license revocations.

The formal complaint is available below:

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