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Detroit Funeral Home Had Mold Covering Corpses, Investigators Find

Cantrell Funeral Home had "deplorable, unsanitary conditions," an inspection said. 

By Eric Shorey

A funeral home in Detroit has been shut down after two bodies were found covered in mold and unidentified fluids were found on a third.

The Cantrell Funeral Home had "deplorable, unsanitary conditions," the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) reported after investigating a complaint from the public, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Putrescent human remains were found at the site. Paint on the walls had been chipping and water-stained. Protective gear was also found to be unclearn. Corpses had been improperly stored: Bodies found April 10 had been put in an unrefrigerated garage as far back as November or December. 

The business had even been "operating with an expired prepaid funeral and cemetery sales registration," LARA found.

Investigators found two bodies "in an advanced stage of decomposition, covered in what appeared to be mold and in the establishment’s possession since January and February and a third body with the facial area covered in unknown fluids," reads the LARA citation, according to the Detroit Free Press.

LARA has suspended the funeral home's mortuary science establishment license and its prepaid funeral and cemetery sales registration, citing numerous violations. It described the facility as an "imminent threat to the public health and safety."

The individual mortuary science license for Jameca LaJoyce Boone, the establishment's designated manager, was also suspended. Boone has not commented.

State police supervised the removal of the bodies. Family members of the deceased searched for the remains of their relatives.

"This is really wrong and crazy," Yolanda Brewer, who was on the scene looking for her sibling, told Click On Detroit. She said she came "so I can see where they're taking my sister."

Brewer explained that her sister's funeral had been held at Cantrell in January, but she could not afford to pay for the burial. Cantrell had offered to store the body until she could find funds.

Raymond Cantrell, the funeral home's owner, is denying many of the allegations, although he did admit to storing bodies in a garage.

"Yes, so we wouldn't have a smell filling up the funeral home," Cantrell said, according to Click On Detroit. "If I had them in the funeral home then my funeral home wouldn't smell fresh."

LARA has recently shut down two other funeral homes in the Detroit area, according to the Detroit Free Press. The Barksdale Funeral Home, where unsanitary conditions were discovered, was closed in January. In February of 2017, the Jarzembowski Funeral Home was closed for improperly handling approximately $200,000 in prepaid contracts.

[Photo: Getty Images]

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