Human remains and bodies in a storage unit find were discovered in Weymouth and Somerville, Mass. Authorities searched two separate facilities as part of an ongoing investigation in a case against a funeral director.
Police recovered 12 bodies in a storage unit in Weymouth and 40 cremated remains at the one in Somverville. The two facilities were rented by the funeral director. The man is being charged with two counts of larceny, New York Daily News reports July 18. Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley confirmed the details.
Joseph O'Donnell, 55, was arrested and charged back in April after he accepted a $12,000 advance payment from a family planning a funeral, but then closed his funeral home. He was unable to pay back the money to the family. O'Donnell has pleaded not guilty.
"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."
Boston Globe reports that O'Donnell's funeral license expired back in 2008. The prepayment he accepted from the family for funeral expenses occurred in 2011.
Families who've put their trust into this funeral director have no idea if the cremated remains they were given are of their own relatives. The remains and 12 bodies in the storage unit recovery has made anyone who once trusted O'Donnell question what he really did with their passing relatives.