An anonymous letter to authorities in October reportedly led them to search a Detroit, Michigan, funeral home—expanding into an investigation that’s turned up dozens of hidden fetuses at another local funeral home.
The Detroit News recently obtained the letter through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The letter is reportedly addressed to Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) inspector Marshall Ogan and was stamped as received on October 12—the same day agency investigators raided Cantrell Funeral Home and allegedly discovered 10 fetuses and the remains of an infant hidden in the ceiling.
“I am writing in an attempt to help you deal with a serious situation,” the unsigned letter began, according to the news outlet.
The one-page letter reportedly provided authorities with step-by-step instructions on where to locate the fetuses.
“When you go through the front door off of (Mack Ave.), there is a red chapel to your left. If you go to your right through the opposite sliding doors, you will end up in a hallway. Go to your right and there’s a little storage room area. If you look above the door there’s a crawl space and she has several infant corpse(s) placed back there dating back from over 10 years ago.”
The writer accused an ex-employee of discarding “a bunch of infant corpses” and trying to break into the property to retrieve them. They claimed the same person had forged hundreds of death certificates and other official documents during their time working there.
Cantrell Funeral home had been on authorities’ radar months before they made the grisly find. In April, state workers suspended their mortuary license after allegedly discovering substandard conditions which entailed two mold-covered bodies being stored in an unheated garage in conditions to 269 containers of cremains, according to the outlet.
A timeline released by LARA stated that a tip led investigators back to funeral home in August, where they located a stillborn located in a cardboard box and another set of cremated remains.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, the investigation at Cantrell Funeral Home sparked a citywide investigation of other funeral homes. It was in late October when police reportedly located 63 fetuses—37 in cardboard boxes and 26 in a freezer—at Perry Funeral Home.
WJBK reported that the time that Perry Funeral Home was also accused of failing to file death certificates for the infants and stillborns within 72 hours and not notifying their next of kin.
The lawsuit which led to the raid accused the funeral home of keeping bodies of stillborn and live birth babies despite some of the parents instructing they be donated to science. They also allegedly billed Medicaid for burials they never performed.
This week, a judge granted class-action status to a lawsuit filed by a woman who claims Perry Funeral Home, Wayne State University, Harper-Hutzel Hospital, and Knollwood Park Cemetery mishandled her daughter’s remains. The Detroit News reported that her attorneys alleged that “well over” 200 fetuses were treated in the same manner.
[Featured Image: WJBK video screenshot]