Detroit funeral home shut down for 'deplorable, unsanitary' conditions

Cantrell Funeral Home shut down due to multiple violations

By Jermont Terry - Reporter, Ken Haddad

DETROIT - A Detroit funeral home has been shut down after authorities discovered deplorable conditions inside.

The Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has suspended the mortuary science establishment license of Cantrell Funeral Home located at 10400 Mack Ave, in Detroit.

Local 4 will have more on this story in a live report at 5 p.m.

Inspectors found deplorable, unsanitary conditions and other violations that included:

  • After first being denied entry to conduct an inspection, an inspector found an unclean and unsanitary embalming room, with peeling and chipping paint, water stained walls, dirty floors, and stained protective gear.
  • Improper storage of embalmed bodies found on April 10, 2018, in an unrefrigerated garage since November and December 2017; a third body was kept from January 9, 2018 until April 17, 2018, when it was cremated.
  • Improper storage of embalmed bodies found on April 25, 2018 with two bodies in an advanced stage of decomposition, covered in what appeared to be mold and in the establishment’s possession since January and February 2018, and a third body with the facial area covered in unknown fluids.
  • Operating with an expired prepaid funeral and cemetery sales registration and failing to assign its existing prepaid contracts to another registrant or to cancel its prepaid contracts and issue refunds of the contracts to the contract buyers.
  • Continuing to engage in activities requiring a registration under the Prepaid Act, including the sale of at least three prepaid contracts.
  • Failure to deposit at least $21,574 received for prepaid funeral goods or services related to 13 prepaid funeral contracts (a preliminary assessment in this ongoing investigation).
  • Failure to deposit monies with an authorized escrow agent within 30 days of receipt, under the Prepaid Act.
  • Fraud, deceit, or dishonesty, incompetence, and gross negligence in the practice of mortuary science.

“Michigan residents trust funeral home directors, owners, and their establishments to follow the law, especially when dealing with the death of a loved one,” said CSCL Director Julia Dale. “We will continue to aggressively hold every funeral home in Michigan to the highest standards of public health and safety when providing final arrangements.”

Back in 2017: Man fatally shot while walking into funeral home on Detroit's east side

Cantrell Funeral Home has 60 days to either assign its existing prepaid contracts to another person registered under the Prepaid Act and notify the Department and contract buyers of the assignment within 30 days of the assignment, or to cancel the contracts and issue refunds to each contract buyer, providing copies of refund checks and correspondence to each contract buyer to the Department within 90 days, unless the Department modifies, vacates, or extends the terms of the Order.

Related: Michigan funeral home shut down over 'deplorable' conditions

Any bodies found on the premises of the establishment awaiting cremation or burial and any cremated remains found on the premises awaiting delivery to a customer were surrendered to the custody and control of LARA via its agent, Preferred Removal Services, Inc., a facility with adequate and appropriate refrigeration equipment and storage. 

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