JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) – Thirty-one bodies have been recovered from a southern Indiana funeral home at the center of an ongoing investigation.
Jeffersonville Police, along with the Clark County Sheriff’s Department and Indiana State Police, have been working at the Lankford Funeral Home and Family Center on Middle Road since Friday evening after receiving reports of the state of the funeral home.
Maj. Isaac Parker said Saturday authorities found 31 deceased people, “some of whom were in an advanced stage of decomposition” at the funeral home, along with the post-cremation remains of 16 people.
“They were located throughout the company in different locations,” Parker said. “Some of them had been there since March.”
Parker said all remains have been transferred to the Clark County Coroner’s Office, which is working to identify all individuals.
“I pray it’s not my son,” Kandi Rogers said.
Kandi Rogers’ son Dominic died on December 11. His service was held at the Lankford Funeral Home.
Rogers claims her son was not cremated for six to seven weeks after his service, with the funeral home providing a number of excuses.
“He couldn’t get in touch with the coroner, he couldn’t get approval from some bodies that were there, he had a lot of COVID patients and my son would have to wait,” Rogers said.
Rogers said she eventually received ashes, but she questions their authenticity. She says she can’t confirm that, but thinks her son might be one of the bodies found.
“We trust these people in the hardest times of our lives, at least for me, and go do that to somebody — I would never do that to anybody in my life,” Rogers said. “For them to take advantage of people and especially treat your loved ones the way they did – that’s not right.”
A source told WDRB News on Friday that police responded to the funeral home following a report that bodies were piling up after the owner and sole operator got behind. The source also said the funeral home’s air conditioning then turned off, which may have brought to the attention of others in the area that something was going on, prompting the investigation.
The source also said Friday that police did not initially believe anything deliberately malicious was going on at the funeral home.
Parker said on Saturday the inquest remains ‘active and ongoing’ and asks anyone who has entrusted the care of a loved one to Lankford Funeral Home and has concerns or information about the inquest to call the office from the Clark County Coroner at (812) 285-6282. Parker also said anyone wishing to provide more information about potential criminal conduct can call the Jeffersonville Police Department’s Detective Division at (812) 285-6535.
No one has been charged with anything at this time, according to Parker.
“We are working with the Clark County District Attorney’s Office to ensure the investigation is efficient and successful,” Parker said.
Clark County Coroner’s Office, Clark County Emergency Management, Clark County Health Department, Clark County District Attorney’s Office, Jeffersonville Fire Department, Attorney General’s Office of Indiana and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security are also working with the police department on the investigation.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.
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