Infant Corpses Found Hidden in Detroit Funeral Home

Howard TerryOct 14, 2018

Raymond Cantrell, who had taken over the business the previous year, told Fox 2 Detroit that he'd been storing the corpses until their families found money to pay for their funerals - "a favor", as he put it.

The funeral home operators were also cited for allegedly failing to deposit more than $20,000 they received for prepaid funeral goods.

Police ordered a search of the building to ensure there are no additional bodies inside.

Cantrell Funeral Home is located on the city's east side where 10400 Mack Avenue meets Garland, about 10 blocks east of the Indian Village neighbourhood.

Correction: An earlier version of this story cited local news reports that incorrectly said construction workers, rather than state inspectors, discovered the infant bodies.

He said the medical examiner knew the identities of at least some of the infants and was trying to contact their families.

The current owner, Naveed Syed, let them inside, and they found boxes and small casket in the ceiling, Bowser said. Bowser said some of the babies had apparently been stillborn.

Officers were alerted to the discarded remains after an anonymous letter was sent to the local council, detailing where the bodies were hidden.

Cantrell Funeral Home shuttered roughly six months ago after inspectors suspended its mortuary license for "deplorable, unsanitary conditions", as well as "f$3 raud, deceit, or dishonesty, incompetence, and gross negligence in the practice of mortuary science".

The successor to the closed funeral home operates as Cantrell Funeral Services, the paper said.

"Obviously, it was either an employee or someone who had knowledge" of the funeral home and the building, Bowser said.

In particular, the state says that anyone "who converts funds paid pursuant to a prepaid contract to his or her own use or guilty of a felony punishable by a fine of $5,000 or imprisonment of not more than five years, or both", according to the website of the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

The property involved is now being reconfigured into a community center.

Cantrell said he did not order his employees to hide bodies.

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