Lawsuit alleges Perry Funeral Home forged death certificates

Remains found in unrefrigerated boxes

By Jermont Terry - Reporter, Kayla Clarke

DETROIT - Remains of 63 fetuses have been removed from Perry Funeral Home on Trumbull Avenue in Detroit, according to police.

ORIGINAL63 fetus remains removed from Perry Funeral Home in Detroit

"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 fetuses and infants. Officials also located a deep freezer containing an unknown number of deceased bodies. Some of the dates of death go back to 2015.

"I'm just hoping and praying it's not my granddaughter," said Benita Kennedy, a concerned grandmother.

Kennedy and her daughter, Micah Compton, are now among a group of families living in limbo. Micah gave birth to her stillborn daughter at 25 weeks back in August at Harper Hutzel Hospital.

"Hutzel Hospital told me they were going to bury the baby," Compton said.

Hutzel is named in a lawsuit in which another woman claims she donated her stillborn baby for medical research.

The lawsuit alleges Perry Funeral Home was supposed to facilitate the transfer of the fetus but the suit claims Perry informed the state the remains were buried at a cemetery and allegedly forged the death certificates and billed Medicaid.

"They told the state these babies were buried," said Peter Parks, the attorney who filed the lawsuit.

The state said Perry failed to file death certificates for any of the fetuses or dead bodies they found in the boxes or freezer. That's why Micah questions if her child is mixed up in this investigation because two months later she can't find any information.

"I don't have no death certificate. I want to see where my baby was buried," she said.

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