(Reuters) – The remains of more than 60 infants and fetuses were found stashed in a Detroit funeral home, police said on Friday, calling the discovery “deeply disturbing.”
The incident comes about a week after the badly decomposed bodies of 11 babies were found hidden in a false ceiling at a different funeral home in the Michigan city.
No connection between the two cases has yet been established, Detroit’s police chief said. He added city, state and federal investigators were looking to form a task force to investigate the improper storage of human remains.
Unrefrigerated boxed containing about 36 sets of remains were recovered from the Perry Funeral Home along with another 27 sets of remains in a freezer, police said.
“This is deeply disturbing,” Detroit Police Chief James Craig told reporters on Friday. “I have never seen anything like this in my 41-1/2 years (on the force), ever.”
Investigators are working to establish ages and identities.
An official with Perry Funeral Home, which offers burial and cremation services, declined to comment on the incident.
The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has revoked the funeral home’s license and shut the facility for what it said was “negligence and an improper storage of bodies,” according to local TV broadcaster WXYZ.
Police have also launched an investigation into the now defunct Cantrell Funeral Home, where the remains of the 11 babies were uncovered last week after authorities received an anonymous letter leading them to the remains.
Its former operators have not commented to media.
In April, state regulators found “deplorable, unsanitary conditions” at the same premises, including embalmed bodies in an unrefrigerated garage and other badly decomposed remains, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs said in a statement at the time.
The funeral home was also accused of several licensing and financial violations, the agency said.
Reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Editing by Sam Holmes