The bodies of 11 infants were found inside the ceiling of a closed Detroit funeral home.
In a press conference shared to Twitter by Detroit News' Sarah Rahal, Detroit Police Department Lt. Detective Brian Bowser explained how the 11 bodies were discovered and recovered. Bowser said that the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs was tipped off about the bodies inside the former Cantrell Funeral Home in an anonymous letter. Inspectors found the remains in a false ceiling between the first and second floors of the building.
DPD Lt. Detective Brian Bowser says they recovered bodies of 11 stillborns improperly stowed in a “hidden false ceiling between the first and second floor of the funeral home” after an anonymous letter was sent to LARA Friday. @detroitnews pic.twitter.com/unqxCanety— Sarah Rahal (@SarahRahal_) October 13, 2018
The building's current owner, Naveed Syed, told ABC affiliate WXYZ that one of the bodies had been in the ceiling since at least 2009. LARA said in a statement released after the bodies were found that the funeral home was closed in April after their inspectors found "many violations including the improper storage of decomposing bodies of adult and infants."
The manager of the funeral home in the year before its closure said that she did not know the remains stashed in the false ceiling.
“I didn’t know anything about that,” Jameca LaJoyce Boone told The Detroit News. “I really don’t know how that could even have happened. I don’t know how long that’s been going on there… it’s very unfortunate and they definitely need to find out who put them there.”
After discovering the remains, police searched the grounds with a cadaver-sniffing dog. No other bodies were found. Police are attempting to reach the former parlor owner Raymond Cantrell for questioning.