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United States

Eleven dead babies found hidden in the ceiling of a former US funeral home

Detroit business was shut down after a surprise inspection found bodies kept in an unrefrigerated garage and some covered with mould

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 October, 2018, 10:55am
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 October, 2018, 11:22am

Builders made a gruesome discovery on Friday evening as they were transforming a former funeral home into a community centre: the bodies of 11 infants hidden in the ceiling.

According to The Detroit News, eight bodies were found in a cardboard box and three others were found in bin bags inside a casket, all concealed in a compartment in the ceiling. The builders called the police, who ordered the rest of the property searched.

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Local television station WDIV said the Cantrell Funeral Home on the city’s east side had been shut down in April by state inspectors who found several violations including decomposing remains, improperly stored bodies and unsanitary conditions.

The inspectors showed up by surprise and were at first denied entry; once inside they found more than minor violations. Bodies from 2017 had been kept in an unrefrigerated garage. Other embalmed bodies that were improperly kept for months were covered with mould. The inspectors also claimed the owners had mishandled funds and suspended the funeral home’s licence.

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The home’s owner, Raymond Cantrell, told Fox 2 Detroit in an April interview that he had taken over the funeral home in 2017 and was doing “a favour to accommodate” customers who could not pay.

“If I had them in the funeral home then my funeral home wouldn’t smell fresh,” Cantrell told Fox. “So yes they are embalmed and serviced [and] we put them in the garage.”