Perry Funeral Home investigation: Infant, fetal remains removed from Metro Detroit cemetery crypts

Remains discovered during searches at cemeteries in Detroit, Canton Township

DETROIT - Police removed 44 mishandled infant and fetal remains from cemeteries in Detroit and Canton Township as part of the ongoing investigation into Perry Funeral Home, officials said.

Gethsemane Cemetery in Detroit

Detroit police Chief James Craig said the department received a tip that between 100 and 125 mishandled remains were at Gethsemane Cemetery in Detroit. Police discovered the remains Wednesday in a crypt on the grounds of the cemetery while executing a search warrant.

The cemetery is not considered at fault and management was cooperative, officials said.

Of the fetuses found, police said 17 were in violation of the required documentation and out of burial compliance.

Knollwood Cemetery in Canton Township

There was also a search at Knollwood Cemetery in Canton Township, led by state officials from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Police said the searches were done concurrently around 4 p.m.

Inspectors found 345 fetuses and one adult at Knollwood Cemetery, police said. There were 27 violations due to improper burials.

All of the improperly handled remains were fetuses, officials said.

LARA announced Thursday evening it has shut down Knollwood Cemetery due to the improper storing of remains.

Connection to Perry Funeral Home

Both of the Wednesday searches were done in connection with the Perry Funeral Home investigation.

During the police investigation into Cantrell Funeral Home in Detroit -- where the bodies of 11 infants were found Oct. 12 in a hidden ceiling compartment and four more bodies were later found in the basement -- 63 fetal remains were removed from Perry Funeral Home.

Detroit police launched an investigation into allegations of criminal behavior at Perry Funeral Home.

Here is a statement from LARA spokesperson Jason Moon:

"Based on information gathered during the course of LARA’s investigation into Perry Funeral Home in Detroit, state regulators conducted an onsite inspection of Knollwood Cemetery in Canton last night. We are currently exploring possible regulatory actions against the facility and have an open investigation.

"Also as part of the Perry investigation, LARA notified Detroit Police regarding possible issues at Gethsemane Cemetery in Detroit. Gethsemane is a municipal cemetery owned by the City of Detroit and LARA has no regulatory oversight of the establishment. LARA regulators did assist Detroit Police yesterday in their inspection of the cemetery. All other questions regarding Gethsemane should be directed to Detroit Police."

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