6 fetuses found at Cantrell funeral home ID'd; investigation ramps up

A multi-jurisdictional task force starts Monday after the discovery of fetuses at two Detroit funeral homes.

Police Chief James Craig says six fetuses found at the closed Cantrell Funeral Home have been identified, using ID attached to them. Police have spoken with parents for three of the fetuses.
The full-term baby has not been identified.

"It's very complex," said Craig. "Every day there's something new to this case."

The layers of complexity can't be overstated. Detroit police. Michigan State Police. the FBI all spoke with the attorney general's office. 

"There may be an allegation of some type of fraud," Craig said. "Medical fraud, and that would fall into their wheelhouse."

In addition to the police investigation, there is a second being done by the department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

"They don't initiate criminal investigations, it really is up to local law enforcement or prosecutor's office to make that decision," Craig said.

Detroit's chief of police said they are following the paper in tracking down leads on why the fetal remains were found inside Cantrell Funeral Home and Perry Funeral Home, in the past few weeks.

Ten fetuses and a baby at Cantrell and 63 fetuses at Perry - the task force focusing on Perry even though the funeral home maintains the fetuses were "unclaimed."

When fetuses were discovered at Cantrell, that funeral home had already been shut down for six months for having moldy and deteriorating bodies.

"I don't know if any members from our homicide team have ever had to do an investigation like this," Craig said.

They haven't - an unprecedented review of often grisly and gruesome details for families could still means prosecutors decide there's no crime here and charge no one.

"They may determine no crime, that may be the ultimate determination," said Craig.

The police department has served search warrants in a few locations, where they had credible leads. At least one turned up nothing.