Detroit Police removed the remains of infants and fetuses from a local funeral home, this time totalling 63 remains in an ever widening investigation of alleged improprieties at Perry Funeral Home. (Google Maps Photo)
   

 
 

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  Police find 63 more fetuses as funeral home raids expand

By Aaron Best
Tell Us Detroit

DETROIT - It's the second time in a week Detroit Police removed the remains of infants and fetuses from a local funeral home, this time totalling 63 remains in an ever widening investigation of alleged improprieties at local funeral homes.

Detroit police Chief James Craig said officers found 36 fetuses in boxes and 27 others in freezers during Friday’s raid at the Perry Funeral Home. He said he was “stunned” by the discovery, which came a week after the remains of 10 fetuses and one infant were discovered in a ceiling at Detroit’s defunct Cantrell Funeral Home on the city's eastside.

"Any loss is a hard loss," said Peter Parks, an attorney representing the couple in the lawsuit against the funeral home and several other entities. "But to lose a child you carried a full-term is exceptionally tough, especially knowing their body didn't go where you think it did."

Parks said up to 200 more bodies may be found to be in improper possession of Perry Funeral Home.

Detroit homicide detectives also raided QA Cantrell Funeral Home in Eastpointe and another in Grosse Pointe Woods to investigate a potential connection with the practice of hiding bodies.

Parks said the remains of dozens of fetuses were initially stored in Harper/Hutzel's morgue for "months and in some instances, maybe even over a year."

Moreover, some of the bodies stored were supposed to be donated to the Wayne State University Medical School, but the DMC "carelessly and negligently" failed to deliver the remains and did not notify the family of its failure to do so, according to Parks and Cieslak in the lawsuit.

"I really can't explain how these remains didn't make it to the medical school," Parks said.

Responding to an anonymous tip last week, Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs discovered 10 "mummified" fetuses and the body of a still-born child in the ceiling of the shuttered Cantrell Funeral Home.

The agency suspended the mortuary science licenses of Perry Funeral Home and its director Gary Deak, according to a news release from the state.

LARA said that it found three unrefrigerated boxes containing the remains of approximately 36 deceased bodies of fetuses or infants. Officials also located a deep freezer containing an unknown number of deceased bodies. Some of the dates of death go back to 2015.

According to Michigan law, "Once a funeral director agrees to provide his or her services, final disposition must occur within 60 days or the funeral director is guilty of a criminal misdemeanor." However, inability to obtain disposition authorization is an exception to the statue.

Police Chief James Craig says law enforcement agencies are considering forming a task force to investigate the issue, specifically targeting improper storage of remains and fraud.


 

 

 

   
 

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