Lawsuit filed against Perry Funeral Home, WSU and DMC over infant remains

Families demand answers after Perry Funeral Home closure

By Shawn Ley - Reporter, Natasha Dado

DETROIT - The next step in the Perry Funeral Home investigation is identifying the fetal remains found there Friday.

The home is shut down, and that is upsetting a lot of families.

“I want my mom’s remains,” said Vanessa McMath, a client of the Perry Funeral Home . 

McMath had services for her mother, Delores, at the Perry Funeral Home on Oct. 6.

The state shut down the funeral home Friday after at least 63 fetal remains were found hidden inside.

Now, McMath does not know whether she can get her mother's remains, which are still there.

There is no closure for dozens of parents who lost pregnancies at the Detroit Medical Center's Harper-Hutzel Hospital.

The hospital handed the remains over to the Perry Funeral Home after saying it sent certified letters to the parents to claim the remains, saying it never heard back from any of them.

“In our discovery, they can’t produce a single document,” said attorney Daniel Cieslak. 

Peter Parks, another attorney, and Cieslak say they have uncovered documentation showing Perry billed Medicaid for holding proper burials for the remains, when they found they were checking large numbers of remains into a cooler, at Wayne State's Center for Mortuary Science.

In a letter dated June 1, 2017, Wayne State told Perry Funeral Home they could no longer house the remains. In a deposition, Perry Funeral Home manager Gary Deak said he stored the remains in a freezer at Perry Funeral Home.  The parents never had any idea this was happening. 

Perry Funeral Home, Harper Hutzel Hospital and Wayne State are facing a civil suit over this as a criminal investigation unfolds for how those remains were handled by this funeral home. 

 

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