A dozen bodies in a storage unit found Thursday near Boston may be linked to another grisly discovery the day before in another Massachusetts town nearby. In that incident, investigators located the cremated remains of 40 people, also in a storage facility. Authorities say both units were leased to former funeral director, Joseph O'Donnell, already facing jail time for larceny charges, according to a July 18 New York Daily News report.
Police in Weymouth, some 13 miles southeast of Boston, recovered the remains of 12 bodies in a leased storage unit. Wednesday, authorities in the town of Somerville, about 40 miles north of Boston, confirmed finding 40 unidentified cremains. Their investigation led them to establishing a possible link with O'Donnell.
Apparently, the 55-year-old man was arrested back in April on alleged larceny charges. In that case, reports say the man is suspected of accepting $12,000 in prepaid funds from the family of a decedent for mortuary services. Shortly thereafter, O'Donnell closed down his funeral parlor and retained the money.
Court records show the suspect in that case entered a not-guilty plea and expects to prove his innocence in a trial on that matter.
On the 12 corpses found in the rental unit, authorities working the case don't believe the decedents were victims of violence.
Our top priority right now is determining the identity of the remains we've discovered. We've seized records and documents that could help us locate those people's families, but this will be a time- and labor-intensive task," Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said on the disturbing matter.
Prosecutors have not filed formal charges against the man in the discovery of the bodies found in the storage units, but that could change in the coming days or weeks as the investigation widens.