PETOSKEY, Mich. (WWJ/AP) – The state has shut down a northern Michigan funeral home after an inspection found unsanitary conditions in an embalming room, human cremains stored alongside those of animals and other violations.

Michigan’s Licensing and Regulatory Affairs office says Wednesday that the mortuary science establishment license of the Charles G. Parks Funeral Home in Petoskey has been suspended.

Inspectors allegedly found embalmed bodies were found in an unrefrigerated garage since January, with a pending burial in May.  They also found a rusty machete on a counter, dirty sinks, and unsanitized tools; wooden caskets with blood-stained cardboard inside, overflowing garbage receptacles and baseboard trim showing evidence of suspected worm infestation that was peeling away from the wall.

In addition, officials said at least $4,935 for prepaid funeral goods or services was not put into escrow.

The individual mortuary science license of owner Charles Guy Parks, Jr. also was suspended.

Parks told The Associated Press Wednesday that he had no comment on the license suspensions or the state investigation. If convicted, he could face five years in prison and/or thousands of dollars in fines.

The state will allow the funeral home to complete funeral services that were in process as of March 6 or refer families to another licensed funeral home before the license suspension becomes effective March 9, 2018.

“Michigan residents trust funeral home directors, owners, and their establishments to follow the law especially when dealing with the death of a loved one,” said CSCL Director Julia Dale. “We will continue to aggressively hold every funeral home in Michigan to the highest standards of public health and safety when providing final arrangements.”

Petoskey is located northeast of Traverse City.

© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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