16 cremated human remains found abandoned in closed funeral home


BALTIMORE (WBFF) -- FIRST ON FOX -- It's a shocking discovery: more than a dozen cremated human remains left in the basement of an old funeral home in East Baltimore.

The ashes were found by construction workers last week. The remains, if unclaimed, should have been brought to the State Board of Morticians.

Why they were left in the basement of the building on North Broadway is a mystery.

"It bothered us every day we worked there," says Terry Seibles, one of the construction workers who found the ashes. "It was 16 of 'em. We got to the basement and we saw these boxes."

There were shelves of the boxes, labeled with names and dates.

"Then we knew it was a funeral home," Seibles says. "I still didn't think that was proper. The one that I remember, the death date was 2004."

The building used to house Miller's Metropolitan Chapel. The funeral homes' two Baltimore locations are no longer in business. An old website lists the former owners as Geoffrey Miller and his family.

"For a whole week we called everyone, called police, the State Coroner's, everybody," Seibles says.

"They found the (ashes), no one wanted to touch them," says Vijay Kukreja, the building's new owner.

He says they got in touch with the Millers.

"I called the person who sold it to us. I called up the real estate agent. He told me they're going to come get them. And the real estate agent says the previous owner sent someone here to pick them up."

FOX45 contacted the State Board of Morticians, and were told Miller was recently instructed to hand over the remains with copies of death and cremation certificates. For Seibles, the ashes never should been left behind.

"Anybody else maybe would have thrown them away," he says. "But I couldn't do it. I wouldn't want anyone to do that to my peoples."

Five years ago, a new policy was enacted by the state. It requires all funeral homes to be inspected before closing to make sure something like this doesn't happen.

We're still waiting to hear back from the board on what led to this instance and when those remains will officially be turned over.

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