Maggots, unrefrigerated bodies, and blood-stained pillows lead to Flint funeral home closure

It's like a scene out of a horror movie.

State investigators found maggots on a garage floor and door, unrefrigerated bodies in an un-air-conditioned area, and blood- and fluid-stained casket pillows laying in a hallway at the Swanson Funeral Home in Flint, which led to their decision to suspend the funeral home's mortuary science establishment license as well as the individual license of O’Neil D. Swanson, II.

According to a report by the state's Licensing and Regulatory Affairs department (LARA), investigators also reported smelling the odor of decomposing bodies and an "unsanitary preparation room without equipment or supplies necessary for embalming."

In May, brothers Maurice Dunn and Joe Leverette contacted local media after their mother's body was switched with another corpse at Swanson Funeral Home.

"It was a total stranger dressed in the clothing that my brother Joey [picked out] and the wig selected for our mother," Dunn told WNEM.

According to Julie Dale, the director of LARA's Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau, the department is going after funeral home malpractice.

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

The funeral home could pay up to $10,000 for each occupational code violation, in addition to continued suspension and revocation of both licenses.

Swanson could be subject to fines of up to $10,000 for each violation of the occupational code in addition to continued suspension or revocation of the licenses, as determined by the Michigan Board of Mortuary Science Examiners.

Any person who is in the process of or has used Swanson Funeral Home can call LARA's Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau at 517-241-7000.

About The Author

Alysa Zavala-Offman

Alysa Zavala-Offman is the managing editor of Detroit Metro Times. She lives in the downriver city of Wyandotte with her husband, toddler, mutt, and two orange cats.
Scroll to read more Arts Stories & Interviews articles
Join the Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Detroit Metro Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.