Indiana cops find THIRTY ONE decomposing bodies dating back as far as March inside funeral home after locals alerted them to foul stench, with cremated remains of 16 others also discovered during grim search
Dozens of decomposed bodies were discovered after locals alerted police to a foul stench coming from an Indiana funeral home where some of the deceased had been stacking up for months.
Police in Jeffersonville conducted the grim search on Friday at Lankford Funeral Home where they found 31 rotting bodies along with the cremated remains of at least 16 other people.
An air conditioning unit at the funeral home on Middle Road stopped working which is believed to have enhanced the smell of the bodies, 'some of which were in the advanced stages of decomposition, said Maj. Isaac Parker in a statement, the Louisville Courier Journal reported.
The owner of the funeral home allegedly got behind on processing the deceased, some of which have been stacking up since at least March, a source told WDRB. No one has been charged with a crime, but the funeral home is under investigation.
According to the staff directory on the funeral home's website, Randy Lankford is the owner.
Kenny Kersey, who told WAVE that his family has been in the funeral business for decades, said Lankford gave him a tour when he bought the business.
'He took us into one side room that had about five bodies on stretchers and I thought was kind of odd at the time. Usually they're supposed to go to refrigeration or right to embalming,' Kersey said.
One woman commented on the WAVE news Facebook page that she's been waiting nearly three months for her brother's ashes. Lankford responded to her emails saying that he's been out of the office due to personal family issues.
Police told WAVE they are in contact with Lankford.
Jeffersonville Police responded to the funeral home following a complaint of the smell last week.
Parker said police worked through the night and into the morning, and located 31 bodies, 'some of which were in the advanced stages of decomposition,' along with the post-cremation remains of 16 other people.
Jeffersonville Police, the Clark County Sheriff's Department and Indiana State Police are investigating the situation at the funeral home which is located in the 3100 block of Middle Road in Jeffersonville - just across the Ohio River from Louisville.
'We're working with the Clark County Prosecutor's Office to ensure that the investigation is efficient and successful,' Parker said.
The remains have all been sent to the Clark County Health Department so that their identities can be confirmed and their loved ones can be notified.
'We understand that this is going to be a situation where we're really going to need the assistance of these families,' Parker added. 'I'm sorry that they've already suffered a loss and now they're dealing with this situation. We ask anybody that has information to please reach out to us.'
Jeffersonville Police's detective division can be reached at 812-285-6535.