Cadaver Pile a "Slight Error of Judgment"

State board closes funeral home after cadaver discovery

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCWashington.com
    Chambers Funeral Home & Crematorium

    A Prince George's County funeral home ordered closed after the discovery of 46 cadavers piled in the garage will go before the Maryland State Board of Morticians and Funeral Directors at the end of the month to try to get its license reinstated.

    The cadavers were discovered during a surprise inspection of Chambers Funeral Home & Crematorium in Riverdale late last month.

    More Details in Funeral Home's Disturbing Discovery

    [DC] More Details in Funeral Home's Disturbing Discovery
    Chambers Funeral Home and Crematorium lost its license and a contract with Georgetown University after a state inspector found 44 bodies on the floor of a garage at the business. Also, officials say new pictures taken the day the bodies were found reveal a gruesome scene.

    Harri Close, of the Maryland Board of Morticians and Funeral Directors, signed the order. He said he'd never seen anything like it before in Maryland.

    "Body fluids were coming out of the bags," said Harri Close, of the state board. "There was no drainage in the room. The fluids were being stepped on by employees walking back into the public area."

    Funeral home owner Thomas Chambers called the incident a misunderstanding. The funeral home has a contact to cremate cadavers from Georgetown University and these 46 had been delivered just before the inspection, he said.

    "We are very sorry for this situation that has occurred, and we're going to keep praying very hard that we can get ourselves out of this," he said. "We made a slight error of judgment within that performance, and we're trying to rectify this through our attorneys and try to get back into business and continue on like we have been since 1914."

    Close said the fact that the bodies were cadavers does not excuse the incident.

    "Those individuals and families still deserve the dignity after their objective's been achieved for science," he said.

    The 46 cadavers have since been cremated, and the funeral home has through Friday to hold its last funerals until a review by the board at the end of the month.

    Even if its license is reinstated, Georgetown will no longer do business with Chambers, the school said.