Bodies abandoned at Highland Park funeral home

A funeral director is out of options after two bodies from two different families have been abandoned at his funeral home.

"I've never encountered this, and I just don't understand it," said James Henry of the Morris-Henry Funeral Home in Highland Park.

Henry said the families refuse to take responsibility for payment, and he's out of options.

"I'm at my wits end. I've talked to the Wayne County medical examiner to see if they would store the bodies there. They don't want to take responsibility," Henry said, adding the examiner's office said they have enough unclaimed bodies as it is.

Henry said he would be willing to cremate the bodies -- that it would at least be easier store the ashes -- but can't get anyone in the family to sign off and he doesn't want to risk a lawsuit.

FOX 2 learned the family of Jay Tanksley, whose body has been there since August, blames the mess on MetLife. They said Tanksley listed his girlfriend in the will, but no beneficiary, so insurance won't foot the bill for the funeral and neither will the girlfriend. The case is tied up in probate court.

Family of Tanksley told us "whoever he goofed around with" can take care of it.

The family of Ricky George, who Henry said refuses to take their call, claims they simply can't afford it.

"When we get the money together, we are going to cremate (him), and I asked them can I have his body go to another funeral home because (Henry) changed his price on me," George's family told FOX 2's Taryn Asher on the phone.

Henry, who has stored the bodies on a metal gurney and in a wooden casket, said he's running out of room. Although he embalmed the bodies to follow state law, they are decomposing.

"It is certainly a sad situation," Henry said. "Right now, they are here in preparation room, but again, at some point, they are going to have to leave here. At what point do we do that?"