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Bodies found in garage, storage unit after funeral home director commits suicide

The storage unit in Providence, R.I., where bodies were found after a funeral home director committed suicide. (Photo via CNN)

The storage unit in Providence, R.I., where bodies were found after a funeral home director committed suicide. (Photo via CNN)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (CNN) — Alfred Pennine, longtime proprietor of Pennine Funeral Home in Providence, R.I., may have taken a secret to his grave.

After Pennine committed suicide last month, another funeral director found six bodies in a garage detached from the Pennine Funeral Home, according to Providence Police Maj. David Lapatin.

This week, a man found the bodies of two adults and an infant in a storage unit previously rented to Pennine in nearby Johnston, according to Johnston Police Maj. Frank Levesque.

Investigators suspect that Pennine was telling families their loved ones had been buried or cremated, but then not following through and instead keeping the cremation and burial fees, Lapatin said.

Authorities are asking owners of storage units across the state to look through their records to see if they rented to Pennine or whether anything suspicious has been found inside, Lapatin said.

After Pennine committed suicide in July, another funeral director took the body to the Pennine funeral home and discovered five corpses and a fetus in a detached garage, Lapatin said.

The funeral home was shut down by the local health department, Lapatin said.

A man on Thursday discovered the bodies of two adults and an infant in the Johnston storage unit.

One adult body was found in a cremation box while another was in a standard coffin, Levesque said. The baby was in what funeral homes often refer to as “infant carriers,” or a smaller coffin.

The adults were so decomposed the gender could not be identified, Levesque said. The infant was believed to be a female.

The bodies were found by a man who had purchased the unit, which was auctioned because there was no payment on it for six months, Levesque said.

Authorities are not sure of the motive but suspect it was financial.

Lapatin said that in some instances, relatives of a dead person were given ashes after a supposed cremation when the remains were still in the funeral home garage.

The funeral home was not authorized to handle cremations on site. The bodies were brought to another location, where a fee was paid for cremation, Lapatin said.

“It looks like he said he was cremating the bodies and then pocketing the money,” Lapatin said.

Lapatin would not say if other funeral directors were being investigated but added that charges could be filed later.

“The scope is a lot wider than Mr. Pennine,” Lapatin said.

Pennine’s brother told CNN affiliate WJAR the family had no comment.

In July, Boston police discovered human remains in a storage facility belonging to a former Massachusetts funeral director after obtaining a search warrant for unrelated charges on the director, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.

 

 

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2 comments

  • T.A. & M.G.

    Sickening! I don’t believe I have my Dad’s ashes! The funeral director in Riverside County in Rubidoux California is open investigation. Attempting to put the blame on others, liars! Then telling me & other families “You did me a favor, saving us money”! Thats right Dean & Taunya! And your 2 kids smoking pot working alongside you! Wait till sheriff Sniff finds out what your doing. Cant hide paper trails. There’s a price to pay…God will see to it! Not to mention …to their own family! Poor families, im not the only one. And to think nothing of it…All for money! It’s not over till its over!!! And Dean & Taunya, you can keep your sick funeral stories/laughter about the deceased bodies amongst you…When your time comes…Most inmates wouldn’t like to hear it! No need to brag Dean SICK PERVERT..about being a funeral director, it’s nothing special to qualify. This is only a small portion of the findings… thousands of dollars for body parts…remember, papertrail.