Memphis police are investigating after two bodies were discovered at a local funeral home a month after closing down.
Hickory Hill Funeral Home closed down on March 1, WMC Action News 5 reported. They did not notify state inspectors of the closing and changed management several times over the past two years.
On March 21, an employee told state inspectors the remains of two women were still inside the facility. Inspectors tried contacting the current funeral home owner, Terry Magee Jr., to no avail.
Inspectors arrived at the funeral home on March 24 and found the bodies. They alerted the Memphis Police Department and filed an abuse of corpse complaint against Magee.
The bodies were identified as Katherine Hill and Gloria Walker, Fox 13 reported. The families were shocked when they learned of the discovery.
“This is been a real devastating situation,” Barbara Walker, the mother of Gloria Walker, told Fox 13. “It's a shocker. It's heartless.”
“The hardest thing about all of this is that we can't come to any type of closure,” added Charra Whitebanks, Gloria Walker’s daughter.
The family said they had been trying to get information about Walker after they held her services on Jan. 31.
“So the body has been sitting there all this time,” said Barbara. “The first owner told me that she was cremated and that we just needed to pay for it and pick up the ashes, and that didn't happen because when we called them the number was off. We could never get a hold of anyone.”
Hill passed away this year after battling an illness.
“She started getting sick back in October,” Pearline Collings, Hill’s friend, told the news station. “She was a nice person that I knew of for years.”
State inspectors told authorities there were no utilities in the funeral home and no licensed personnel present. The investigation is ongoing.