Second Detroit funeral home investigated for handling of fetuses

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Chief James Craig said he is alarmed at allegations of a second funeral home improperly disposed of newborn babies and fetal remains - on the heels of a criminal investigation into mummified fetuses found at Cantrell funeral home.

Now allegations and an investigation is happening into Perry Funeral Home as well.

"I hope this is isolated to these two, I can't say that with certainty," Craig said. "This is much larger than we might know."

According to a lawsuit the body of a newborn baby girl who died in 2014 was supposed to be turned over to the Wayne State Medical School for research at her parents' request. 

Instead - and without the parents' knowledge -  it's alleged Hutzel hospital turned the baby over to Perry funeral home which then stored the remains at the Wayne State Mortuary Science morgue for years.

But that's not all.

"We have discovered that a number of death certificates appear to have been falsified indicating that babies' remains had been buried at Knollwood cemetery in Canton, Michigan," said Peter Parks, the attorney suing Perry Funeral Home. "These babies’ bodies had never been buried."

A spokesperson for the cemetery says they had nothing to do with this - any documentation would have been provided by the funeral home.

Wayne State was also named in the lawsuit - says the claim against them is baseless and they are moving to dismiss it.

No one at the funeral home was available for comment, but attorneys for the family of the baby named in the lawsuit, say Perry fraudulently billed Medicaid and others for funeral services and burials that never happened.

"We are taking a very broad look at this, we want to understand the reasons," Craig said. "Was it financial gain - if so, how, who knew, who else is involved in this."

As police begin their criminal investigation - the attorneys say there are potentially several hundred fetuses involved - devastating for families who have already suffered a tragic loss.