Authorities are investigating an Ohio funeral home after 11 bodies were discovered in a damp room. They say the bodies were supposed to be cremated but instead were stored in cremation boxes and body bags – some bodies were months old.
The Lucas County coroner’s office says the bodies of 10 adults and an infant born prematurely were found on Friday. A deputy coroner says most of the deaths were of medical nature so autopsies were not deemed as necessary.
Dr. Diane Barnett says concern is over the condition of the bodies and their identification. Barnett tells the Blade newspaper that at least one body had been in the Ohio funeral home since January.
Barnett says the most recent death occurred around two weeks ago, The Associated Press reported.
Toledo police helped state authorities remove the bodies and are investigating what took place.
The funeral home says it provided embalming in accordance with state law. The attorney for the funeral home said in a statement that any delay in cremation resulted from physicians failing to provide timely death certificates.
The Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors has planned to hold a special meeting Tuesday, June 2, regarding its investigation and licensing status of the funeral home and its director.
The fate of the licenses for Tate Funeral Service and its director, Robert O. Tate Jr., will be addressed by the board next week.