A total of 12 human bodies were found in a storage unit located in Weymouth, Massachusetts. Police also found cremated human remains in another storage facility on Wednesday, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said. Joseph V. O’Donnell, a funeral director in Somerville, rented the two units that had evidence prosecutors were looking for.
In a report of the bizarre find by MSN,the remains of those discovered aren’t believed to be victims of violence. Prosecutors are working to identify the bodies and notify family members.
55-year-old O’Donnell was arrested in April for accepting a $12,000 pre-payment from a family planning a funeral, but he shut down the funeral business and wasn’t able to provide services or pay back the money. He’s being held on two charges of larceny, but pleaded not guilty.
In a more in-depth report by the Boston Globe, April Hopkins was one of many paying customers who put her trust in O’Donnell. She’s “devastated” after putting “a lot of trust in the man,” she says. She’s not sure now if the remains she was given belong to her. She wonders if two of the 12 bodies found in the storage unit are those of her mother and son. Hopkins also had a newborn granddaughter cremated by O’Donnell three years ago.
Authorities over 40 sets of cremated remains in the Somerville storage facility and recovered 12 bodies at the storage unit in Weymouth. The discovery was part of an investigation related to the larceny charges.
The medical examiner’s office now has possession of the bodies and will try identifying them. The cremated remains were labeled and can be matched up with identifying documents. Jake Wark, the spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, says:
“We’re confident we’ll be able to confirm the identity of each of those remains.”
Wark adds that none of the deaths appear suspicious.
A hearing in the case was Friday, but it’s been postponed until August 29th.
According to the report, Dahria Williams-Fernandes, a funeral director in Dorchester, said outside the courtroom that she was appalled at what Joseph O’Donnell allegedly did. She says:
“It’s astonishing to me. It’s our responsibility to protect the deceased entrusted to our care.”
Funeral homes have made headlines for various incidences. Besides this story about 12 bodies found in a storage unit, another Inquisitr article, is about a mother who had to dial 911 because a funeral home was holding her baby’s body for ransom.
[Image via Reuters/MSN]