‘Horrifying’ Find in Ohio Foreclosure

September 21, 2012

In foreclosed homes, it’s not uncommon to find belongings the previous owner left behind, such as furniture, clothes, or piles of trash. But a foreclosure in Dayton, Ohio, gave police possibly one of their most shocking finds yet — boxes containing the cremated remains of 56 people.

The boxes were allegedly left behind by the home owners, which included a former director of a funeral home that had been closed down last year by the state. 

A contractor who had been hired to remove any remaining items in the foreclosed home made the discovery. The boxes were reportedly labeled with the names and dates of the deceased individuals. The county’s coroner office took possession of the boxes and is working to find family members. 

The remains had been found by investigators last year at the McLin Funeral Home in Dayton. After a state inspection revealed violations of state laws and administrative codes, the state Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors revoked the licenses of the funeral home.

Vanessa Niekamp, executive director of the state’s Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors, told the Associated Press that the discovery of the boxes in the Dayton home are “horrifying.” 

Still, law enforcement will have to decide if any laws have been broken. In Ohio, the state law says funeral directors can dispose of any unclaimed remains after 60 days, but the law does not include a specific timeframe for disposal of the remains. But when unclaimed remains are disposed of, they must be placed in a grave, crypt, or niche, according to state law. 

The cremated remains found in the foreclosed home were discovered in boxes labeled from 1982 to the early 1990s. 

Source: “Cremated Remains of 56 People Found in Ohio Foreclosure,” Associated Press (Sept. 20, 2012)