Anonymous Note Leads To Discovery Of 11 Babies’ Bodies Hidden In Funeral Home Ceiling

The former funeral home lost its license in April after state inspectors cited it for multiple violations, including improperly storing corpses in an unrefrigerated garage for months.

October 16, 2018

Cantrell Funeral Home [Google Maps]

Cantrell Funeral Home [Google Maps]

By: Aaron Rasmussen

DETROIT, MI — An anonymously written note led to the discovery of the bodies of 11 children hidden in the ceiling of a funeral home that state authorities shuttered last spring.

The building’s new owner, Quality Behavioral Health CEO Naveed Syed said he bought Cantrell Funeral Home in September and was in the process of clearing the place of garbage and trying to get rid of its “horrendous smells” when the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs paid him a visit on October 12. What happened next, said Syed, was “difficult to process.”

Detroit Police Lieutenant Brian Bowser said investigators located the remains of the babies, one as old as three years old, in a ceiling compartment, accessible by ladder, between the first and second floors of the funeral home. Two of the bodies were in a trash bag stuffed inside a casket, and the other nine were placed in a cardboard box.

Police were able to figure out several of the babies’ identities and were attempting to contact families. "The bodies were badly decomposed; some of their faces weren't even recognizable," Syed said, noting all were either mummified or embalmed. "No matter how strong you think you are, seeing 11 dead children takes a toll. It can be traumatizing and it's so sad.”

The former funeral home, which Syed plans to turn into a community center, lost its license in April after state inspectors cited it for multiple violations, including improperly storing corpses in an unrefrigerated garage for months.

"I'm not surprised about the news [of the discovery]. These people, the former owners, they were dirty, pitiful people up to no good,” Syed said. "It's messed up, man. There was no respect for the dead."

Read more: Detroit Free Press

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