July 16, 2014 / 10:45 PM / 5 years ago

Eight bodies removed from vacated Texas funeral home

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - Eight bodies in varying stages of decay have been removed from a vacated building used by a troubled mortuary in Fort Worth, Texas, police said on Wednesday.

The landlord told the Johnson Family Mortuary to vacate the building about two weeks ago and the bodies were found after the firm had moved out, Fort Worth Police Sergeant Raymond Bush said.

“A total of eight bodies aged from infant to adult, were found in the building, in varying stages of decomposition, some quite advanced,” Bush said.

He said officials were trying to notify the relatives of the deceased, whose bodies are in the custody of the city’s medical examiner.

“We did not find any refrigerated rooms on the premise,” Bush said, adding no criminal charges have been filed and none are expected soon.

Dondre Johnson, one of the co-owners of the funeral home, told reporters the situation is a misunderstanding related to the eviction.

“While he (the landlord) was trying to put us out, he discovered that a body was inside the funeral home and he called the police and one thing led to another,” Johnson said. 

“This is a funeral home. So when you come in here, you’re going to see dead bodies.”

Kyle Smith, an attorney for the Texas Funeral Service Commission, said there were currently five open complaints lodged against the company.

Reporting by Jim Forsyth; Editing by Jon Herskovitz and Eric Beech

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