Cops find 31 decomposing bodies stacked up in funeral home
Indiana police find thirty-one decomposing bodies dating back to March at the funeral home after locals warned them of a foul stench, and the cremated remains of 16 others were also discovered during a grim search.
Dozens of decomposed bodies were discovered after locals alerted police to a foul stench emanating from an Indiana funeral home, where some of the dead had been piling up for months. Police in Jeffersonville conducted the grim search Friday at Lankford Funeral Home, where they found 31 decaying 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, believed to have intensified the odor of the bodies, “some of which were in advanced stages of decomposition,” Major Isaac Parker said in a statement, the Louisville Courier Journal reported. . The funeral home owner is said to have fallen behind in processing the deceased, some of which have been piling up since 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 company. “He took us to a side room with about five bodies on stretchers and I thought that was a bit odd at the time. Usually they have to go to the refrigeration or to the embalming,’ Kersey said.
A woman commented on the WAVE news Facebook page that she has been waiting for her brother’s ashes for almost three months. Lankford responded to her emails, saying he was out of the office due to personal family issues. Police told WAVE they are in contact with Lankford. Jeffersonville Police Department responded to the funeral home last week after a complaint about the odor.
Parker said police worked through the night and through the morning and found 31 bodies, “some of which were in an advanced stage of decomposition,” along with the post-cremation remains of 16 other people. Jeffersonville Police, the Clark County Sheriff’s Department and the Indiana State Police are investigating the situation at the funeral home located on the 3100 block of Middle Road in Jeffersonville — just across the Ohio River from Louisville.
“We are working with the Clark County State Department to ensure the investigation is efficient and successful,” Parker said. The remains have all been sent to the Clark County Health Department so their identities can be confirmed and their loved ones notified.
“We understand that this is going to be a situation where we really need the help of these families,” Parker added. “I am sorry that they have already suffered a loss and now they are dealing with this situation. We ask anyone with information to contact us.’ The Jeffersonville Police Detective Department can be reached at 812-285-6535.