By Andrew Blake
October 13, 2018
Authorities found the remains of 11 infants and stillborn children hidden in the ceiling of a former funeral home in Detroit, Michigan, police said Friday.
The grim discovery occurred after inspectors from the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, or LARA, received an anonymous letter in the mail Friday detailing the whereabout of numerous humans remains inside the former Cantrell Funeral Home, Detroit Police Detective Lt. Brian Bowser told reporters.
Inspectors went to the location described in the letter – a false ceiling between the first and second story of the funeral home – and found a cardboard box and a small casket, he said at a press conference.
Police were immediately called to the scene, and responding officers removed the boxes and discovered inside the remains of 11 infants and stillborns, he told reporters.
Inspectors described the remains as “decomposing,” and police could not immediately confirm how long they were hidden.
Some of the deceased have been identified, and an investigation is underway, the detective added.
“Obviously we have to find out what happened, and why it happened,” he told reporters.
Cantrell Funeral Home shuttered roughly six months ago after inspectors suspended its mortuary license for “deplorable, unsanitary conditions,” as well as “[f]raud, deceit, or dishonesty, incompetence, and gross negligence in the practice of mortuary science.”
“That suspension order remains in effect as does our investigation,” LARA spokesman Jason Moon said in a statement Friday. “We will use the evidence gathered today to add to our open investigation and will continue to work with local law enforcement as this case proceeds.”
The property was sold following the suspension to a new owner who intends to turn it into a community center, a local ABC affiliate reported.
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