State shuts down Detroit funeral home for 'deplorable conditions'

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News
Cantrell Funeral Home on Mack

Detroit — State officials shut down a funeral home in the city after inspectors found decomposing remains and "deplorable conditions" on its site.

Officials with Michigan's Licensing and Regulatory Affairs said Wednesday the agency has suspended the license of the Cantrell Funeral Home, which is located on Mack Avenue near Cadillac Boulevard on the city's east side. 

Inspectors for the agency found the business had two bodies in advanced stages of decomposition and covered with mold in the funeral home. Another body had unknown fluids covering its face. They also found improperly stored embalmed bodies in an un-refrigerated garage.

The business' embalming room was unclean and unsanitary with peeling paint, water-stained walls and dirty floors, according to LARA.

A person who answered the phone at the funeral home Wednesday could not provide a response, saying the state was still onsite.

Officials also said the funeral home's management had failed to renew its prepaid funeral and cemetery sales registration, it hadn't deposited at least $21,000 the business received for prepaid funeral services for 13 contracts or refunded customers their money. That violation is a felony punishable by a $5,000 fine or up to five years in prison. 

"Michigan residents trust funeral home directors, owners and their establishments to follow the law, especially when dealing with the death of a loved one,” said Julia Dale, director of LARA's Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau, in a statement. “We will continue to aggressively hold every funeral home in Michigan to the highest standards of public health and safety when providing final arrangements.”

The agency said the funeral home has 60 days to assign its funeral contracts to another funeral home or cancel them and give its customers a refund.