Expert: DNA, medical records needed to identify 11 fetuses found hidden in funeral home

Posted at 9:25 PM, Oct 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-16 23:31:25-04

Dr. Werner Spitz is a world renowned forensic pathologist who has worked on high profile investigations, like the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the civil trial against OJ Simpson.

He says medical records will be the best way to identify the 11 fetuses found inside the ceiling of the Cantrell Funeral Home in Detroit. 

“If this is babies without any tag or bracelet or something to identify them directly on the body or with the body, then I think this is going to be very, very difficult, if not impossible to find parents,” Spitz said. 

The Wayne County Medical Examiner Office says most of the fetuses have some kind of identifying label from the hospital. They also hope to also match paperwork from the Cantrell Funeral Home to the fetuses. 

“You have to match it up with something that is known," Spitz said. "If you don’t have that, there is no way identify it." 

Once records are found, DNA testing will need to be done not only on the baby but also on family members. 

“DNA will determine a given DNA, but now you have to match it to somebody like a mother, like a father,” Spitz said. 

Finding family is another tedious step, but Spitz says it is critical. 

“You have to have the ability to match DNA from these babies to people who are claimants," Spitz said. "If you don’t have that, I don’t know how you are going to proceed from there."