Detroit's shut down Perry Funeral Home connected to story of headless corpse found in 1976

63 decomposed fetuses found at same funeral home decades later

DETROIT - The recent discoveries made at the shut down Perry Funeral Home are nothing short of gruesome and disturbing.  

What many might not know is the Perry Funeral home is connected to the story of a headless corpse found in 1976. 

The story is about the headless body of a young Detroit woman that was dug up from its grave and taken to a morgue in downtown Detroit for examination. The woman's body was dug up as part of a probe into charges that corpses were mutilated at the Wayne County Morgue. 

Articles from the Detroit Free Press' archives obtained by Local 4 dating back to 1976 connects the Perry Funeral Home to the headless corpse that was discovered. 

One headline from an article, dated May 26, 1976, reads, "Probers Find Decapitated Corpse."

A paragraph from the same article reads, "John Locniskar, an official of the Perry Funeral Home, said task force investigators have asked him for all the names of persons whose unclaimed bodies he buried in August 1975."

The subheadline reads, "More bodies to be dug up."  

Another headline from the archives on the same story reads, "Investigators Find Headless Corpse." 

WDIV also obtained footage dating back decades ago on the headless corpse that features the Perry Funeral Home. 

Just less than a week ago, 63 decomposed fetuses were found and removed from the Perry Funeral Home on Trumbull Avenue. The funeral home was shut down afterwards. 

The fetal remains were found after the decomposed bodies of 11 infants and four other bodies were discovered at the former Cantrell Funeral Home on Mack Avenue.  

The bodies of the 11 infants were found in a compartment located in a hidden section of the ceiling inside the Cantrell Funeral Home after investigators received an anonymous tip.

Nine infant bodies were found in a cardboard box and two were found in caskets. 

The discoveries at both Detroit funeral homes are making national news and have gripped a community. 

State inspectors shut down the Cantrell Funeral Home in April after the discovery of several violations, including decomposing remains and "deplorable conditions."

Now, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies have set up a task force to investigate the mishandling of infant remains by both closed Detroit funeral homes, according to authorities.

The next step in the Perry Funeral Home and Cantrell Funeral Home investigations is identifying the infant remains. 

Until then, there has been no closure for dozens of families and their loved ones. 

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