Rusty machete and other 'deplorable' conditions found in Petoskey funeral home

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PETOSKEY (WJRT) (3/7/2018) - A rusty machete in the embalming room and cremains of the owner's pets stored alongside human cremains were among the violations state regulators found in a Petoskey funeral home.

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs suspended the license of the Charles G. Parks Funeral Home, along with the mortuary science license of owner Charles Guy Parks.

The suspension is effective on Friday, allowing the funeral home two days to complete any funeral arrangements for families already in progress.

State regulators discovered the following violations during a recent inspection:

• An unclean and unsanitary embalming room, with a rusty machete on the counter, dirty sinks and unsanitized tools. Garbage cans were overflowing and baseboard trim showed evidence of a suspected worm infestation that was peeling away from the wall.
• Storage of human cremains alongside cremains of the owner’s dog and pet pig, along with storage of unidentified cremains.
• Improper storage of embalmed bodies found in an unrefrigerated garage since January 2018, pending burial in May 2018. More bodies were found in an unrefrigerated chapel on March 2.
• Wooden caskets with blood-stained cardboard inside of them in the loft area above the funeral home and garage.
• Failure to escrow at least $4,935 for prepaid funeral goods or services related to two prepaid funeral contracts (a preliminary assessment in this ongoing investigation).
• Failure to deposit monies with an authorized escrow agent within 30 days of receipt.
• Fraud and deceit in obtaining a license or registration, based on incompetence in the practice of mortuary science and gross negligence in practicing an occupation.

The funeral home now must assign any prepaid funeral contracts to another facility and notify the families within 30 days. Anyone with a prepaid contract also can cancel it and request a full refund.

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