LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Nearly a day after several agencies began investigations into conditions at southern Indiana funeral home, families say they are feeling various emotions.
Many are heartbroken and feel they were taken advantage of but can’t help but want to blame themselves.
Tara Owens sent the remains of her brother Mike to Lankford Funeral Home and Family Center back in April after he died.
She chose to have him cremated, but three months later, and she said, after countless attempts of reaching the funeral home’s owner, she said she doesn’t know where he brother is or what state his body is in.
“I couldn’t sleep last night not known what happened to his body. Has he been cremated? Is he not? What’s going on? If I do get cremated remains, how do I know that they’re him? It’s just really sad,” Owens said.
Investigators with Jeffersonville Police worked through the night to recover the remains. They added some of the 31 bodies found were in advance stages of decomposition.
Major Isaac Parker tells us the investigation into Lankford stemmed from tips regarding an odor coming from the funeral home.
"We arrived at the scene, of course our officers did smell a strong odor that was consistent with a decomposing body. If you walked inside the business itself, you'd understand this is abnormal for any funeral home,” Parker said.
He stressed the investigation is still in the early stages and there is a lot unclear at this time.
Parker said the funeral home’s owner has been cooperative, speaking with police since Friday night though he could not disclose at this time any of the conversations.
Owens, however, did say the owner mentioned to her that he was “dealing with a lot at the moment” when she reached out about her brother’s remains.
No charges have been filed either at this time. Parker said he could not comment on what or when they could be.
The bodies and cremated remains are now in the possession of the Clark County Coroner’s Office.
Jeffersonville police will be working with them to determine the identities and contact relatives.
If you have entrusted the care of your loved one with Lankford Funeral Home, you are asked to call the coroner’s office at (812) 285-6535.
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