Mexican officials find 61 decaying bodies at shuttered Acapulco funeral home

Sixty-one rotting bodies have been found at the crematorium of an abandoned funeral home near Acapulco after neighbors complained to authorities about a foul smell coming from the building, officials said Friday.

The bodies, most of them male, were discovered Thursday evening at the facility, which had been shuttered for about one year, according to a government official who was not authorized to be quoted by name.

Guerrero state prosecutor Miguel Angel Godinez confirmed the number of bodies in comments to local media.

Many of the bodies were covered with sheets and had been heavily doused with quick-lime powder, apparently to reduce the odor of rotting flesh. Some of the bodies appear to have been there for as long as a year, but others may have been placed at the site more recently, the official said.

The state of Guerrero has been shaken by drug-related violence, including the notorious disappearance of 43 college students who allegedly were rounded up by corrupt police on Sept. 26 and handed over to a drug gang. Federal investigators say the students who last were seen in Iguala, about 105 miles north of Acapulco, were killed and their remains burned at a trash dump.

There were no immediate signs that the bodies found at the funeral home were connected to the case of the missing students, all young men from a rural teachers' college.

The official said the bodies found at the crematorium included some children.

The official said a main line of investigation is possible fraud by the funeral home, suggesting operators may have accepted bodies for cremation without actually performing the service.