Remains of fetuses and infants found at second Detroit funeral home

Hannah Rogers
October 22, 2018

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

Detroit police raided Perry Funeral Home on Friday and found the remains.

Michigan's department of licensing and regulatory affairs said the remains found at the Perry Funeral Home were turned over to state investigators, who immediately declared the funeral home closed and its licence suspended.

Of the 63 fetus remains discovered during the raid, half of them were discovered in a freezer and the other half were discovered in a cardboard box.

Officers made the "deeply disturbing" discovery in Detroit on Friday, with some of the bodies having dates of death as far back as 2015. "I can't say that with certainty, and so this is much larger than we might know". In some cases, the home embalmed remains without the knowledge or consent of the families, the department said.

Police have also launched an investigation into the now defunct Cantrell Funeral Home, where the remains of the 11 babies were uncovered last week after authorities received an anonymous letter leading them to the remains.

Exterior of the former Cantrell Funeral Home building is seen on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018 in Detroit.

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Since April, 38 unattended bodies and 269 containers of cremated remains have been discovered in the facility.

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs said in a statement it revoked the funeral home's license and shut down the facility after inspectors "found heinous conditions and negligent conduct at the home".

"Perry Funeral Home has been serving the Detroit community for decades and has been a reputable, reliable and caring member of the community".

Parks said the case "involves issues that quite clearly touch on matters that as a society we hold as sacred" - specifically, "honoring the final disposition of loved ones".

Friday's findings point clearly toward criminal offenses of state laws regulating funeral homes that could be felonies "punishable by imprisonment for not more than 10 years or a fine of not more than $50,000 or both", said a statement from the agency.

"I hope that it is isolated to these two".

He added city, state and federal investigators were looking to form a task force to investigate the improper storage of human remains.

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