A startling discovery was made after the air conditioner reportedly failed at an Indiana funeral home and nearby residents reported the concerns of an odor emanating from within.
Lankford Funeral Home is located in Jeffersonville, IN, just across the river from Louisville, KY, and is owned and operated by Randy Lankford, a funeral director and embalmer. After a complaint of a smell drew the attention of the Jeffersonville Police Department Friday, authorities discovered the remains of nearly 50 individuals in various states of decay.
WLKY reported that local police found 31 decomposing bodies, some that had been at the facility since March, and the remains of 16 more individuals that had been cremated. Officials donned hazmat suits to load the deceased into a refrigerated truck for transport to the Clark County Health Department.
According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, Major Isaac Parker with the Jeffersonville Police expressed his sympathies for the families as the assistance of next of kin was required to confirm the identities of the deceased.
“We understand that this is going to be a situation where we’re really going to need the assistance of these families,” he stated. “I’m sorry that they’ve already suffered a loss and now they’re dealing with this situation. We ask anybody that has information to please reach out to us.”
Local resident Kenny Kersey, who described his family as having been in the funeral business for decades, told WAVE that after owner Randy Lankford bought the funeral home, he had been given a tour.
“He took us into one side room that had about five bodies on stretchers and I thought was kind of odd at the time. Usually they’re supposed to go to refrigeration or right to embalming,” Kersey stated.
He had applied for a job there and noted, “He said come on down here and we’ll talk. Well when I got down there at that point of time, he wasn’t here. I called an he said, ‘we’re busy. We’ll get ahold of you,’ And he never did.”
Evidently, Kersey was not the only person that Lankford had trouble keeping in touch with as WDRB reported the funeral director had allegedly fell behind on processing bodies.
Sources told the outlet that they don’t believe Lankford was up to “anything deliberately malicious,” but it is up to local prosecutors to determine if arrests are to be made and charges filed against any parties involved. Jeffersonville Police, the Clark County Sheriff’s Department and Indiana State Police are all investigating the scene and Parker said, “We’re working with the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office to ensure that the investigation is efficient and successful.”
WAVE noted that the Department of Homeland Security was also among the agencies investigating any wrongdoing committed at the funeral home.
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