- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Police are investigating a Philadelphia funeral home for operating without a license and improper handling of bodies and organs.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports (https://bit.ly/1JJfbRE ) a search warrant was executed Monday night at Hawkins Funeral Services on 53rd and Vine streets, where Lt. John Walker says officers recovered three bodies and a bag containing human organs.

Walker says one body awaiting cremation was in a casket and had started to decompose. He says two other decomposed bodies were not embalmed or refrigerated.

Police say Blair Hawkins, identified as the funeral director, didn’t have a license to run the business.

Police say John Gaither, the funeral home’s former owner, said Hawkins approached him about running the facility together last fall but an agreement was never reached.

Gaither is cooperating with authorities.


Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, https://www.inquirer.com

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