State of Michigan shuts down Detroit funeral home over 'deplorable conditions'

Posted at 9:25 PM, Jan 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-18 05:18:24-05

Shut it down – that’s the order from the state of Michigan to a Detroit funeral home.

Barksdale Funeral Home has been slapped with the suspension of its license for what the state is calling deplorable conditions.

According to the complaint filed by the state, Barskdale Funeral Home poorly handled cremated remains, some of which were spoiled because of water damage or possible rodent infestation, and there was reportedly a bloodied box used to transport bodies.

The state is calling it gross negligence.

Complaint documents filed by the state detail what inspectors discovered, including more than 237 cremated remains stored in its garages and inside the funeral home - some without any identification and many in poor conditions, including some that sustained water damage and damage due to suspected rodent infestation.

In the embalming room, there was no ventilation system, only a portable air conditioner and a ceiling with missing, stained or saggy tiles, according to the court documents. 

The room was also reportedly being used for storage.

In another room, inspectors found a bloodstained box used to transport a body.

Inspectors also found Barskdale’s license to operate as a mortuary science facility expired at the end of October.

A worker inside the funeral home said the owner, Millie Stewart, was not there and no one else was available for comment.

Barksdale is also alleged to have failed to deposit more than $2,000 for pre-paid funeral services.

The state is giving the funeral home until the 22nd to get all its affairs in order, complete services and refer people to other licensed funeral homes.