YPSILANTI, Mich. (WXYZ) — As Tri County Crematorium in Ypsilanti was raided by authorities on Thursday, Tracy Reardon was still mourning the loss of her wife, Jennifer, and still waiting on her remains.
"I don't know if she’s been cremated yet, I don't know what they’re doing," Reardon said. "It’s been a whole month of, 'oh we’re trying to get the keepsake vessels, they’ll be in here soon.'”
It wasn’t until news reports this week that Reardon learned O'Neil Swanson II, the mortician who took her wife’s body, was a convicted felon whose license was revoked three years ago.
As she watched video of his crematory being raided, she knew her wife’s remains were still somewhere inside.
"I was terrified and I was horrified," Reardon said. "She was the most amazing person and I will never love again.”
Reardon says she already planned to file a report with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) based on Swanson’s behavior at her home. She says he didn’t use a body bag and even complained about how heavy her wife's body was.
“They were very unprofessional about it," Reardon said. "They wrapped her in a sheet and basically dragged her through our house.”
Reardon only saw Swanson's face again on TV, as investigators searched the crematory. There, they found found improperly stored bodies and bodily fluids leaking onto the floor.
“I'm concerned," Reardon said. "Am I ever going to get her remains back? Or are they just going to dump stuff in a box and say ‘here, this is your loved one.’”
Reardon already paid for the cremation and for a special necklace with Jennifer’s thumbprint. However the details of what went on there now add even more pain to her loss.
"The loved one is gone, but the live ones live on and have to deal with it all, and that’s the worst,” Reardon said.
Anyone else currently impacted is asked to file a report with LARA at (517) 241-7000 or by email at CSCLonline@michigan.gov.
A cease and desist order was issued against the crematorium by LARA and the Michigan Department of the Attorney General.