63 fetus remains removed from Perry Funeral Home in Detroit

- Detroit police raided the Perry Funeral Home near Warren where remains of 63 fetuses have been discovered and removed.

Conditions of the fetuses are not known as well as where they were stored. About 37 fetuses were found in cardboard boxes and 26 in a freezer, according to police. A state oversight agency has closed the west side funeral home.

 In a press conference earlier on Friday, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said that the Perry Funeral Home had been alleged to have improperly disposed of fetuses.

Michigan's Licensing and Regulatory Affairs today found "heinous conditions and negligent conduct" at Perry Funeral Home, saying in a release that investigators found:

  • Three unrefrigerated boxes containing the remains of a total of approximately 37 deceased bodies of fetuses or infants plus a deep freezer containing 26 additional deceased bodies. Some of the deceased had dates of death in 2015.
  • Respondents failed to certify and file death certificates for the dead bodies of the fetuses and infants for whom they assumed custody with the appropriate governmental authority within 72 hours of death.
  • Absent any statutory exception, the failure or refusal to properly supervise the final disposition of a dead human body after agreeing to provide the services of a funeral director within 60 days of receiving the body is a criminal violation under Section 160c of the Michigan Penal Code.
  • Respondents failed to secure permits for removal or burial of dead human bodies before interment or disposal. 
  • Respondents obtained possession or embalmed the dead human bodies of the fetuses and infants without first being expressly directed or authorized to do so by a relative of the deceased persons or a person entitled to custody.

This incident comes on the heels of 10 fetuses and one infant's remains found inside a false ceiling at the former Cantrell Funeral Home on Mack last Friday.

Four more remains were discovered at Cantrell earlier this week. 

Chief Craig said there appeared to be no connection between the two funeral homes, but says the tips and allegations that fetuses have not been properly disposed of, are similar.

LARA currently has an open investigation into Perry Funeral Home and has notified the Michigan Attorney General’s office and the Detroit Police Department of its findings and regulatory actions. 

Under Michigan law, failure to or refusal to properly supervise the final disposition of a dead human body or the failure to refusal to properly dispose of a dead human body is occurs more than 180 days after the date the funeral director takes possession of the dead human body, the person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 10 years or a fine of not more than $50,000 or both.

Any bodies found on the premises of the establishment awaiting cremation or burial and any cremated remains found on the premises awaiting delivery to a customer were surrendered to the custody and control of LARA via its agent, Preferred Removal Services, Inc., a facility with adequate and appropriate refrigeration equipment and storage. 

There was one previously scheduled service at Perry Funeral Home and arrangements are being made for it to occur at another location.

Members of the public who have questions or concerns regarding the operation of Perry Funeral Home may contact the Securities & Audit Division within CSCL at 517-335-5237, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, or by email at LARA-CSCL-Securities-Audit@michigan.gov.

Stay with FOX 2 for more information as it becomes available.
 

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