Remains of babies found in boxes above ceiling at funeral home

Mar 5, 2015 12:08 PM by CBS News

GARY, Ind. -- Police say the remains of two babies have been found in small boxes above ceiling tiles in a northwestern Indiana funeral home.

Gary police and the Lake County coroner on Wednesday removed the bodies of a stillborn and a newborn from Smith, Bizzell and Warner Funeral Home. Investigators said the bodies appeared mummified or skeletonized. One had a tag indicating the baby was delivered March 3, 1996.

CBS Chicago reports that the identities of the babies are unknown at this point. One is a boy and the gender of the other is unknown. The Lake County Coroner's office is calling them simply Baby Boy Doe and Baby Doe.

Lake County Coroner Merrilee Frey says the funeral home owners, Concord Family Services Inc., contacted her after finding the remains.

Concord vice president Sharon Vaughn says the home's previous owners left the bodies. Concord bought the home in 2005.

Gary police Sgt. Thomas Decanter says a criminal investigation has been opened. Autopsies are scheduled Friday.

Neighbor Timothy Mullings told CBS Chicago that he doesn't know who's to blame but says it's important that someone is punished.

"Either way someone needs to be held accountable for that," he said. "It's more than tragic."

Gary is located 35 miles southeast of Chicago.

© 2015 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Stay up to date with the latest North State headlines by downloading the FREE Action News Now mobile app


Most Popular