DETROIT (WWJ) – A Detroit funeral home has been forced to close due to what are described as ‘deplorable, unsanitary conditions.”

Investigators inspecting Barksdale Funeral Home on East State Fair St. in Detroit found an unclean embalming room with inadequate ventilation, as well as a preparation room doubling as a storage area with a blood-stained box that had been used to transport a body.

Julia Dale, with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs said state inspectors found an overall unsanitary environment.

“We’ve got an issue about the care of the facility that is providing the services,” she told WWJ’s Zahra Huber. “And that not only impacts the loved ones that, you know, their final arrangements are being provided there, but it also impacts the working and health conditions for the staff that work there.”

Some cremated remains, Dale said, were unidentified and/or in poor condition because of water damage or suspected rodent infestation.

“As it relates to the cremains, certainly the way that we saw them maintained and, you know, record keeping and cared for, does not meet the standards that we would expect and that I’m sure their loved ones would expect,” Dale said.

The state has suspended the funeral home’s license, as well as that of its manager, Millie Stewart.

The company is also accused of failing to properly deposit more than $2,000 worth of prepaid funeral funds.


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