‘Deplorable Conditions’: Michigan Shuts Down Funeral Home After Maggots and Decomposing Bodies Found in Garage

Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has suspended the mortuary science license of the Swanson Funeral Home in Flint after state investigators found decomposing bodies left unrefrigerated in what has been described as ‘deplorable conditions.’ 

According to reports the horrific discovery was made by state investigators responding to several complaints regarding unsanitary conditions and strong odors of decomposition present at the facility.

During the course of the investigation, the state found the following violations:

  • Maggots on the floor of the facility’s garage and garage door.
  • Unrefrigerated human bodies were stored in the un-air-conditioned garage, some for more than 90 days and up to five months.
  • The building smelled of decomposing bodies.
  • Unsanitary preparation room without equipment or supplies necessary for embalming.
  • Blood and fluid stained casket pillows were laying in the hallway.
  • A failure to register as a “producing facility” and submit a Medical Waste Management Plan, under the Medical Waste Regulatory Act.
  • Repeated violations of standards and laws enforced by the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration affecting the handling, custody, care, or transportation of a dead human body.
  • A failure to register to sell prepaid contracts or maintain a contract with a registrant under the Prepaid Act.

As the Detroit Free Press explains, LARA subsequently suspended the licenses of the funeral home and the facility’s manager O’Neil D. Swanson II, as well as issuing a cease and desist pertaining to future operations.

Making matters worse, this is not the first time Swanson’s has fallen under scrutiny.

MLive.com reports that in September 2016, the Michigan Attorney General’s office filed several complaints including “gross negligence, incompetence, violation of a rule of conduct and an inability to serve the public.”

MLive.com further reported that they were unable to reach attorney Mike Cox who represented the funeral home following the A.G.’s complaint for comment in regards to these new developments.


The funeral home could be subject to fines up to $10,000 for each violation, according to LARA.

Swanson Funeral Home has had other disturbing allegations leveled against it.

In May of 2017, a man claimed he and his family arrived at the Flint funeral home to pay their respects and found a stranger in the casket. TV5 reached out to Swanson Funeral Home about the claims and never heard back. Read more about the claim here.

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