4 bodies left behind in vacant funeral home

May 27, 2009 2:57:53 PM PDT
The new owners of a Gary, Indiana, building made a disturbing discovery. Four bodies were found in the former funeral home. ABC7's Theresa Gutierrez reports the bodies have been there for years. "I'm just surprised, because I mean, why would somebody leave a body in a funeral home?" said Regina Vaughn, Gary resident.

"It's crazy. But it's Gary, and they find bodies everywhere," said Monique Lenoir, Gary resident.

Rev. Reginald Burrell of the Northlake Church of Christ purchased the Serenity Gardens Funeral Home, 934 E. 21st Ave., across from his church, in a tax sale. On Sunday, the reverend and four of his deacons went in to the establishment and were surprised when they found bodies in the building that had been vacant since 2005.

"We came across, unfortunately, bodies, one that I viewed in particular and one our trustees saw, and Sunday they came across three more," said Reginald Burrell, Northlake Church of Christ.

Burrell says he and his deacons found the four bodies, including the one he first discovered in the bag, one in a burial box and two in caskets

Lake County Commissioner Roosevelt Allen said the business license for Serenity owner Darryl Cammack had been revoked in 2003. He had been sanctioned by the Indiana board in 2005 after several customers filed complaints against him and that he could face charges for breaking several laws.

ABC7 tried talking to Gary police and they said they won't talk to reporters until the coroner releases his report. The coroner was also not available Wednesday and said he won't be releasing his report until sometime Wednesday evening or Thursday morning.

Rev. Burrell still cannot believe a funeral director would allow four bodies to remain in the vacant funeral home for years.

"It's devastating, especially in this neighborhood," said Steve Tucker, Gary resident.

"Just the fact that someone's loved ones have been housed in this place all these many years," said Agnes Darling, member of the Northlake Church of Christ.

ABC7 tried reaching Darryl Cammack, the former owner of the funeral home, and was unable to reach him.


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