Michigan authorities search two cemeteries, uncover dozens of fetuses' remains: police

Authorities in Michigan revealed Thursday that they uncovered several fetuses’ remains at two separate funeral homes whose documentation exhibited discrepancies.
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Authorities in Michigan revealed Thursday that they uncovered multiple fetuses' remains at two separate funeral homes.

The discovery was made as part of the ongoing investigation into the Perry Funeral Home, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said in a news conference, which was posted to the department’s Facebook page.

The remains of 63 bodies inside three boxes and a deep freezer were found at the location earlier this year following a raid.

A law enforcement task force, acting on a tip, executed a search warrant at the Gethsemane Cemetery in Detroit on Wednesday, Craig said.

Authorities also believed “based on the tip that there may have been fetuses at” the Knollwood Cemetery in Canton, he added. No search warrant was served at Knollwood, Craig said.

Authorities also believed “based on the tip that there may have been fetuses at” the Knollwood Cemetery in Canton, Craig said.
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“When we responded after serving our search warrant, we did discover 104 fetuses,” Craig said.

After combing through the related paperwork, authorities determined that documentation pertaining to 17 of the fetuses “had some discrepancies,” he said.

“The remaining 87 did not have any discrepancies and total 104 fetuses, our investigation revealed that those fetuses were all associated with Perry Funeral Home,” Craig said. “As it relates to the Canton location, the investigators found 345 fetuses, one adult. And of that number, 27 were found in violation because of documentation that had discrepancies as well.”

The police chief told reporters that there were “no criminal allegations against the cemetery.”

“This is an extension of our criminal probe focusing on Perry. There are no criminal allegations against the management companies that manage both Gethsemane and Knollwood,” Craig said. “The only connection is the fact that they have the same management company and the fact that the investigation did take us to those locations.”

Neither cemetery returned Fox News’ request for comment.

The Perry Funeral Home is owned by James Vermeulen and his legal representation, Collins Einhorn Farrel law firm, released a statement to WXYZ saying that the allegations “are inaccurate.”

“These allegations involve only unclaimed infant remains. Perry Funeral Home received these remains from local hospitals who had indicated to Perry that the remains were ‘unclaimed’ by the parents,” the statement said. “In other words, the hospitals had informed Perry that the hospitals had reached out to the parents by certified mail and/or by phone, and the families did not respond. We do not believe that any of these remains involve families that paid Perry for funeral services.”

Regarding unclaimed remains, a funeral home isn’t permitted to bury remains without getting proper approval and “Perry never received the legal authority necessary to conduct a final disposition of the remains,” the statement said.

“Perry has conducted itself within the law and has not committed any criminal offenses,” the statement said.

Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report.

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