LARA Shuts Down Perry Funeral Home in Detroit

Investigators find numerous violations, including negligence and an improper storage of bodies resulting in an imminent threat to public safety 

Media Contact: LARA Communications 517-373-9280
Email: mediainfo@michigan.gov

October 19, 2018 – Due to multiple violations of Michigan’s Public Health and Occupational Codes and an imminent threat to the public health and safety, the Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has suspended the mortuary science licenses of Perry Funeral Home in Detroit and its director Gary Deak.

In response to a recent complaint, inspectors with LARA’s Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau (CSCL) today found heinous conditions and negligent conduct at the home that included:

  • Three unrefrigerated boxes containing the remains of a total of approximately 36 deceased bodies of fetuses or infants plus a deep freezer containing an unknown number of additional deceased bodies. Some of the deceased had dates of death in 2015.
     
  • Respondents failed to certify and file death certificates for the dead bodies of the fetuses and infants for whom they assumed custody with the appropriate governmental authority within 72 hours of death.
     
  • Absent any statutory exception, the failure or refusal to properly supervise the final disposition of a dead human body after agreeing to provide the services of a funeral director within 60 days of receiving the body is a criminal violation under Section 160c of the Michigan Penal Code.
     
  • Respondents failed to secure permits for removal or burial of dead human bodies before interment or disposal.
     
  • Respondents obtained possession or embalmed the dead human bodies of the fetuses and infants without first being expressly directed or authorized to do so by a relative of the deceased persons or a person entitled to custody.

LARA currently has an open investigation into Perry Funeral Home and has notified the Michigan Attorney General’s office and the Detroit Police Department of its findings and regulatory actions. 

Under Michigan law, failure to – or refusal to – properly supervise the final disposition of a dead human body, or the failure to – or refusal to – properly dispose of a dead human body more than 180 days after the date the funeral director takes possession of the dead human body, is a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or a fine of not more than $50,000, or both.

Any bodies found on the premises of the establishment awaiting cremation or burial – and any cremated remains found on the premises awaiting delivery to a customer – were surrendered to the custody and control of LARA, via its agent, Preferred Removal Services, Inc., a facility with adequate and appropriate refrigeration equipment and storage.

There was one previously scheduled service at Perry Funeral Home and arrangements are being made for it to occur at another location.

Members of the public who have questions or concerns regarding the operation of Perry Funeral Home may contact the Securities & Audit Division within CSCL at 517-335-5237, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, or by email at LARA-CSCL-Securities-Audit@michigan.gov.