Authorities say an anonymously written letter led them to the decomposed remains of 11 infants hidden in a ceiling compartment of a shutteredDetroitfuneral home.
Detroit police lieutenant Brian Bowser said the bodies were found in a hidden false ceiling between the first and second floors during a search of the former Cantrell Funeral Home on Friday.
Nine bodies were in a cardboard box and two were in trash bags in a single casket, Bowser said. Officials had determined the names for some of the infants, he said, and would try to contact the families.
The funeral home has been closed since April, when state inspectors suspended its license following the discovery of bodies covered with what appeared to be mold.
Some of the infants were apparently stillborn, Bowser said, adding that authorities do not know how long the remains were stored and have not determined who might have left the bodies there.
“Obviously, it was either an employee or someone who had knowledge” of the funeral home and the building, Bowser said. He noted that the remains “were kind of hidden away”.
Jameca LaJoyce Boone, the funeral home’s designated manager for a year before its closure, said she was shocked by the discovery of bodies in the ceiling.
“I didn’t know anything about that,” Boone told the Detroit News. “I really don’t know how that could even have happened.”