Two decades-old fetuses were discovered in a funeral home in Michigan on Oct. 22.
This is the third finding of fetal remains hidden in funeral homes in Michigan in under two weeks.
An asbestos removal team made the incidental finding at former Mowen Funeral Home in Owosso, some 90 miles northwest of Detroit, FOX2 Detroit reported. It had been vacant for more than two years.
The remains were located in a casket in a wooden box, stashed in a closet in an abandoned second-floor apartment of the property. The markings on the box suggest that the remains are more than 50 years old.
“A preliminary investigation by Dr. Patrick Hansma, a Forensic Pathologist and Deputy Medical Examiner for Shiawassee County, indicated the gestational age of both fetuses to be pre-viable, with an estimated age of 20 weeks. The identity of the fetuses is unknown at this time,” the City of Owosso wrote in a Facebook post.
Not the First Time
The latest finding of fetal remains comes after recent findings at two separate funeral homes in Detroit, with no known connection between the two cases. Police have since launched an investigation into both cases.
On Oct. 19, authorities uncovered 63 fetuses hidden in Perry Funeral Home in Detroit—36 were found in boxes, while the other 27 were found in freezers. Police called the discovery “deeply disturbing,” according to Reuters.
The shocking find came after a man had sued Perry Funeral Home for its handling of infants and fetuses in July. According to Fox News, he alleged that the funeral home had stored babies’ remains in the morgue for up to three years while intentionally not notifying parents, some of whom had wanted to donate the remains to research. He also alleged the funeral home had billed Medicaid and Detroit Medical Center for burials it never conducted.
The same man later urged his lawyer to call police after seeing media coverage of another gruesome find of fetuses in Cantrell Funeral Home in Detroit, according to Fox News.
On Oct. 12, a stillborn infant and 10 fetuses were found hidden in Cantrell Funeral Home. The discovery was made after state inspectors received an anonymous letter.
The remains were hidden between the first and second floors—the fetuses were stored in a cardboard-like box, while the stillborn infant was in a coffin, Police Chief James Craig told the Associated Press.
“They were definitely hidden,” Craig told AP. “The way they were placed in the ceiling, one would not have readily discovered them.”
The funeral home had been closed since April because authorities said it had multiple violations, including storing embalmed bodies in an unrefrigerated garage for months. Police in Detroit said on Oct. 15 that they would file a criminal complaint against the owners, AP reported.