Remains of infants and fetuses found in leaky containers at Michigan cemetery
CANTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (FOX 2) - Investigators discovered the remains of 300 fetuses and infants stored in leaky plastic containers at a cemetery in suburban Detroit, state regulators said Tuesday.
The state disclosed more details from an inspection last week at Knollwood Memorial Park in Canton Township. The cemetery is barred from any new business while the case is pending.
Investigators said there were 345 fetuses and cremated fetal remains and one adult body were found inside several crypts. Of those, 27 had paperwork issues.
The suspension comes five days after regulators said they discovered 27 plastic containers and took other enforcement steps. Most of the remains came from Perry Funeral Home in Detroit whose license was suspended weeks ago. The remains of dozens of fetuses were found at Perry in October.
The state said four cemetery crypts were being used as temporary storage for the remains, contrary to the wishes of families. Some remains were from 2009. A message seeking comment was left with Knollwood's attorney.
"The crypts were not purchased by the loved ones of the deceased but were being used as temporary storage until each crypt was full, at which point final disposition would presumably occur," the state said in its complaint against Knollwood. "The uncremated remains were stored in plastic containers inadequately sealed with duct or packaging tape and, in some instances, were leaking fluids."
The Canton cemetery was shut down last week by the state. The evidence was discovered during the state's investigation into Perry Funeral Home in Detroit, where uncremated remains of infants and fetuses were discovered in October. Most of the remains were stored on behalf of Perry Funeral Home, the state said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.