HURON TWP, Mich. (FOX 2) - Police say an employee who worked for the Wayne County Morgue used his position to stake out potential victims and even claimed to be a cleanup crew when he was caught in the act.
The family of James Davis feel like they've had their heart broken twice. First when the 67-year-old man died in his mobile home in Huron Township of natural causes. Then when a man tried to rob his home as his body was removed by a man contracted by the Wayne County morgue.
"I actually thought it was a joke," his son, Derek Davis, said.
According to police, Carnell Franklin-Smith was casing the home as he removed James' body.
"At the end of the day it's flat our sickening that someone can do this to the dead," Derek said.
Franklin-Smith and his partner, Benjamin Pearce, were caught the next day forcing their into the mobile home with plans to steal James' belongings. Derek said he's struggling to find appropriate words.
"I couldn't say it on camera because you would have to censor it...But you're heartless, sickening despicable human beings there is pretty much a special place in hell for you," he said.
When police caught up with him near the mobile home park, they said he pulled out a janky business card with the alleged name ‘No Evidence’ on it. He then said that was the company he worked for and that he was supposed to be in that mobile home, but it was all a sham.
"What I find most egregious is the story I'm here to do cleanup, no cleaning supplies, no suits, nothing to indicate he owned a cleanup business," Huron Twp Police Chief Everette Robbins said.
That phony backstory and homemade business card leads Robbins to believe this wasn’t their first time.
"I would be shocked if they didn't do something like this before," he said.
The contract company Franklin-Smith worked for is used by other morgues, not just Wayne County, leading Robbins to this inconceivable warning.
"You shouldn't have to warn people about this because its human courtesy to do something like this," he said.
Franklin-Smith and Pearce have been arraigned on home invasion and weapons charges. They have been released on personal bond - which family calls insulting.
Carnell Franklin-Smith is accused of casing the home of recently deceased man as he removed his body - and then coming back the next day to rob it.