Michigan state officials received an anonymous tip that led them to the horrifying discovery of 11 dead infants. The bodies were found hidden in the ceiling of a closed funeral home on Friday afternoon.
The bodies were discovered by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. They were acting on an anonymous letter they received on Friday, which contained detailed information about exactly where the bodies were hidden, according to Detroit News.
Officials “were met here by the current owner, who admitted them entry,” said Detroit PD Lt. Detective Brian Bowser. “They went to the location described in the letter.”
The state inspectors called police immediately so the bodies could be properly recovered. The bodies were contained in a cardboard box and a small casket inside the ceiling compartment, which was between the first and second floors of the building.
The bodies are now with the Wayne County medical examiner’s office. Some names for the deceased have already been discovered, and authorities are working to identify all of the remains. No names or ages for the deceased infants has been released. Detectives will attempt to contact the family members before any names are made public.
Detroit police searched the rest of the building, but no additional bodies were discovered.
The funeral home is no longer in operation, and police are currently attempting to locate the former owner. The home was suspended by state officials for multiple violations, including “improper storage of decomposing bodies of adults and infants,” according to a spokesperson. The home has been closed since April.
The funeral home is in the process of being turned into a community center, CNN reports.
Detectives say that some of the bodies were identified with tags dating to 2009. Detroit police have stated that they will find out what happened to the bodies, and why. At this time, they did not disclose any leads they may be pursuing in this ongoing investigation.
After numerous media attempts to contact the former owner, Raymond Cantrell finally spoke to a local news station in Detroit.
“On behalf of my family I’m really sorry that it happened and totally appalled. The fact it occurred. I’m just thanking God it wasn’t something I had any involvement in,” he said to Detroit Local 4. “I didn’t go and try to discover things. I was trying to go handling things at hand.”
Cantrell no longer lives in Michigan, but said he is willing to talk to police.