Detroit funeral home's license suspended after violations

A Detroit funeral home was shut down Wednesday after state inspectors found decomposing embalmed bodies and other violations.

The mortuary science license of Cantrell Funeral Home on the city's east side has been summarily suspended, according to Michigan's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Violations include two improperly stored bodies covered in what appeared to be mold and a third body with unknown fluids covering the facial area. Inspections also turned up an unsanitary embalming room.

The establishment also was operating with an expired prepaid funeral and cemetery sales registration. The state says money for prepaid funeral goods or services had not been deposited with an authorized escrow agent within 30 days of receipt.

State officials and state police were at the funeral home Wednesday as bodies were removed in hearses.

Owner Raymond Cantrell told reporters that some bodies were stored in the garage "so that we wouldn't have an aroma filling up the funeral home."

"If I had them in the funeral home, then my funeral home would not smell fresh," he said.

Other funeral homes have run afoul of state rules and laws in recent months.

Swanson Funeral Home in Flint was closed in July after maggots were found on the floor of a garage where unrefrigerated bodies were stored.

The mortuary science establishment license of the Charles G. Parks Funeral Home in Petoskey was suspended in March after an inspection found unsanitary conditions in an embalming room, human cremated remains stored alongside those of animals and other violations.

The state says embalmed bodies also were found in an unrefrigerated garage and that at least $4,935 for prepaid funeral goods or services was not put into escrow.