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A Petoskey funeral home shut down over unsanitary conditions

EMMET COUNTY, Mich. – The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has suspended the mortuary licenses of Charles G. Parks Funeral Home and the owner Charles Guy Parks, Jr. in Petoskey, Mich.

LARA’s Corporations, Securities, and Commercial Licensing bureau found the following unsanitary conditions and violations in the funeral home:

  • An unclean and unsanitary embalming room, with a rusty machete on the counter, dirty sinks, and unsanitized tools; overflowing garbage receptacles and baseboard trim showing evidence of suspected worm infestation that was peeling away from the wall.
  • Storage of human cremains alongside cremains of the owner’s dog and pet pig; and otherwise unidentified cremains.
  • Improper storage of embalmed bodies found on March 6th, 2018, in an unrefrigerated garage since January 2018, pending burial in May 2018; and in an unrefrigerated chapel, following funeral services held on March 2nd, 2018.
  • 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 money with an authorized escrow agent within 30 days of receipt.
  • No current medical waste producer registration.
  • Fraud or deceit in obtaining a license or registration.
  • Fraud, deceit, or dishonesty, incompetence, and gross negligence in the practice of mortuary science.

According to LARA, Parks Funeral home has 60 days to assign the existing prepaid contracts to another person or cancel the contracts and issue refunds to each contract buyer along with other stipulations.

“Michigan residents trust funeral home directors, owners, and their establishments to follow the law especially when dealing with the death of a loved one. We will continue to aggressively hold every funeral home in Michigan to the highest standards of public health and safety when providing final arrangements.” said CSCL Director, Julia Dale.

The CSCL stated they will allow Charles G. Parks Funeral Home to complete services that were in the process as of March 6th or will refer families to another licensed funeral home before March 9th.

For anyone with questions about the operations of Charles G. Parks Funeral Home, contact LARA at 517-335-5237, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. You can also email them at LARA-CSCL-Securities-Audit@michigan.gov. 

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