Remains of 2 infants found in funeral home ceiling

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The two babies' remains had been at the Smith, Bizzell, Warner and Son Funeral Home in Gary for years. (WLS)

An investigation is underway after the Lake County coroner took custody of the remains of two babies found at a Gary, Indiana funeral home.

About 12:50 p.m. Wednesday, investigators from the Lake County, Ind., coroner's office came to the Smith, Bizzell and Warner Funeral Home at 4209 Grant St. in Gary, according to a release from the coroner's office.

The remains had been at the funeral home since before the current owners moved in June 3, 2005. The remains had been locked away in a secure space in the morgue until a disgruntled employee tried to hide them and was caught in the act, the funeral home says.

The funeral home says the employee, who worked there for eight months, was fired. The funeral home says a manager discovered the unnamed employee stowing the remains of a stillborn and a 1-month-old in the ceiling in September of 2014. The funeral home says they contacted the coroner then, but it was not until this week that the coroner came out to investigate.

The babies had been secured in the morgue since the late 1990s under previous funeral home owners, they were unclaimed until the employee apparently decided to move them, the funeral home said.

The spokesperson for the funeral home says management secured the remains once again and contacted the Lake County coroner right away. Since that time, they say they have been pouring through records to find any next of kin.

On Wednesday, the coroner removed the remains from the funeral home and found no injuries to the bodies.

The funeral home says the employee was trying to get management in trouble because he planned to quit. The Indiana State Board of Funeral Homes was coming for an inspection Sept. 29, two days after the employee was allegedly caught.

The babies' remains were reportedly found in a box above the ceiling tiles.

The Lake County Coroner's Office says one baby's race and gender are unknown. The coroner's report says there are no injuries, but the cause of death is still pending. A published news report says the baby - which is now mummified - was a stillborn that arrived at the home in 1996. A woman's name is with those records.

The coroner lists the second infant as Baby Boy Doe, and says his age and race are not known. No injuries are reported, but they're still investigating his death.




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