Police in Michigan have reportedly recovered the remains of 63 fetuses at a Detroit-based funeral home on Friday—marking the second facility where officers have found similar remains in the past week.
WJBK reported that police recovered 37 fetuses in cardboard boxes and 26 in a freezer at Perry Funeral Home. On Friday, Michigan’s Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) alleged that some of the discovered remains dated back to 2015.
Perry Funeral Home is accused of failing to file death certificates for the bodies of fetuses and infants in their care despite being in possession of them for more than 72 hours. They also allegedly kept or embalmed the remains without informing the decedents’ next of kin, according to the news station.
The Detroit Free Press reported that Friday’s raid came in light of a lawsuit which alleged that Perry Funeral Home improperly stored the bodies of stillborn and live birth babies in the Wayne State University School of Mortuary Science for years without informing their parents—some of whom explicitly expressed that they wanted the remains to be donated to science.
The lawsuit also indicated that the facility billed Medicaid for burials that it didn’t perform.
In light of the police discovery, LARA suspended the mortuary science licenses of Perry Funeral Home and its director, Gary Deak. In a press release issued to The Detroit News, agency spokesperson Jason Moon said an inspection determined the facility posed “an imminent threat to the public health and safety.”
Alarmingly, this wasn’t the only funeral home law enforcement raided on Friday. According to the Detroit Free Press, police raided QA Cantrell Funeral Home in Eastpointe amid an investigation related to last week’s discovery of 11 fetuses in the ceiling of the business on Mack Avenue.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, police said some of those “very small” remains were badly decomposed. Authorities reportedly located two deceased infants wrapped in a trash bag inside the same casket and nine babies inside cardboard boxes.
Police reportedly also raided the home of the facility’s owner, Anetta Cantrell. A press release indicated that they seized computers, business phones, and paperwork during Friday’s raid.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig said it’s possible that they’ll be searching more funeral home as they continue their investigation.
“I would like to look at you and say ‘I hope not. I hope this isolated.’ I can’t say that with certainty. This could be larger than we might know,” Craig said during Friday’s news conference, according to the Free Press.
“I’ve never seen anything (like this) in my 41 and a half years. It’s disturbing. But we will get to the bottom of this; we will find the evidence.”
[Featured image: WJBK video screenshot]