11 infant bodies found hidden in former funeral home ceiling in Detroit

Leroy Wright
October 13, 2018

Local television station WDIV said the Cantrell Funeral Home on the city's east side had been shut down in April by state inspectors who found several violations including decomposing remains, improperly stored bodies and unsanitary conditions.

Police say nine bodies were found in a cardboard box and two were found in caskets.

Detective Brian Bowser of Detroit Police said: "We have to find out what happened and why it happened". The inspectors also alleged the owners had mishandled funds, and suspended the funeral home's license.

"Violations included dirty floors, peeling paint, mold, improper storage of embalmed bodies, with one in "advanced stage of decomposition", and fraud, deceit, or dishonesty, incompetence, and gross negligence in the practice of mortuary science". Authorities do not know how long the remains had been stored there, he said.

The inspectors called 911, and on Friday night police were trying to contact Cantrell to ask about the 11 dead babies in what had once been his ceiling - to find out if that was another so-called favor to his cash-strapped clients.

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"They immediately notified Detroit police who responded and removed the boxes from a false ceiling between the first and second storey of the funeral home".

"Some of the bodies had a tag on referring back to 2009, some had receipts on them as if the person or family didn't finish paying", Demps said.

"It's just the callousness of the perpetrators - the owner, the employees of the funeral home".

Construction workers found them at the Cantrell Funeral Home on Mack Avenue at about 5:30 p.m. Friday, according to FOX 2 Detroit. 'I really don't know how that could even have happened. He said he only held the bodies because some people were unable to pay for a proper burial. That suspension order remains in effect as does our investigation.

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