Gruesome new details about Prichard cemetery burial conditions revealed

(WPMI) Gruesome new details about Prichard cemetery burial conditions revealed
(WPMI) Gruesome new details about Prichard cemetery burial conditions revealed

New gruesome details about the conditions of three bodies excavated in June at Heritage Memorial Gardens cemetery have been revealed.

It stems from alleged illegal burials in Prichard.

The new information is spelled out in new court documents filed by the DA's office.

The complaint reveals a lot of details not released publicly before.

WARNING: some of these details may be disturbing.

The complaint filed by the district attorney's office is critical of burial practices used by Joseph Bonner, Cederick McMillian, New Birth Community Church and Heritage Funeral Home.

Investigators with the Alabama Board of Funeral Service "found one of the victims was poorly embalmed, resulting in a substantial amount of mold present on the corpse's head with a substantial presence of insects within the casket."

The complaint also said another victim "did not have an identification band on either ankle" identifying the person and the funeral home.

That is problematic according to Charles Perine, the Executive Director of the Alabama Board of Funeral Service.

He says state law requires all human remains be identified with a non-detachable ankle bracelet.

"So as long as the human remains are in the custody of the funeral establishment, they have to have that identification band on them. So you would think when disposition has occurred they would still have the identification there," he said.

This violation could result in a fine or suspension or revocation of a license.

"It's a major violation. We could issue an immediate citation right then or we could actually bring up charges from the board against that funeral home or licensee. If we issue a citation right then and there, usually it's $100 per body that is missing identification. However, if we chose to bring up charges or if it's a continuous problem with that firm, we will bring up charges and the fine could be $500 to $2,500 and include suspension, revocation of license," said Perine.

The complaint also states a raid produced a casket that was dirty inside and outside and had an impression from a human body.

The district attorney's office also wants all funeral home vehicles seized during raids forfeited to the state.

If the vehicles are given to the state, they could be auctioned off and the judge decides where the money goes.