Families distraught as Flint funeral home shuts down over maggots, rotting bodies

Authorities shut down a Flint, Michigan, funeral home after finding dead rotting bodies and maggots inside the facility on Tuesday.

CBS Detroit reports that the Michigan’s Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) shut down the Swanson Funeral Home off of Martin Luther King Ave. in Flint, after discovering “deplorable and unsanitary conditions.” The funeral home’s license was suspended and it was cited with numerous health and occupational code violations after human blood, rotting corpses without refrigeration, and maggots were found.

According to LARA, violations include:

    • Casket pillows with blood and fluids lying visibly in the hallway
    • Maggots permeating the garage floor and garage door
    • Failure to submit a Medical Waste Management Plan
    • Lack of embalming tools
    • Unsanitary preparation room
    • Human bodies stored in a hot garage from 90 days to five months
    • Building reeked of decomposing corpses
    • Failure to register under the Prepaid Funeral and Cemetery Sales Act
    • Liquid staining on the outside of one the cardboard cremation box containers
    • Blood, hair, and pieces of human tissue found in a hand-washing sink

Swansons Funeral Home Order Affidavit 578355 7 by Leigh Egan on Scribd

It’s unclear how many people had family members awaiting funeral preparations at the funeral home. Swanson was known for offering affordable cheap cremations without a formal funeral service process. Officials found at least 10 dead bodies inside cardboard cremation boxes, awaiting preparations. The bodies had been there at least 72 hours and only one was embalmed.

Spokespersons for two other Swanson Funeral Home locations, in Detroit and Pontiac, stressed that their facilities have absolutely no connection to the Flint location.

“The allegations the state has made against the Flint home are shocking and go against every principle of mortuary science,” O’Neil Swanson, president of the funeral homes, said in a statement. “We have served the community for 59 years and have established an unchallenged record of providing experienced, compassionate service. I want to make it clear to all that the steps taken by the state against the Flint business do not impact us in any way.”

The violations aren’t the first for the Swanson Funeral Home in Flint. In October 2015, investigators discovered two rotting corpses, that had been deceased since 2014, stacked on top of each other.

Swanson Funeral Home faces fines of up to $10,000 for each violation.

[Feature Photo: Google Maps/September 2015]